Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Kitchen Gardener Cook

Last week we began our quest to appreciate the premier greens of early summer. This week we move on to conquer kale, kale and more kale. Not to mention Swiss chard and collards. Learn to love them all as the are incredibly nutrient rich.

By the Way...

Don't Miss June 16 Field Day at One Straw Farm-Growing and Marketing Organic Vegetables

Click here to register online using Paypal

Come take a tour and enjoy lunch at One Straw Farm, Maryland's largest organic vegetable farm. Tended by Drew and Joan Norman since 1985, One Straw Farm supplies families, restaurants and wholesalers with certified-organic produce.

One Straw Farm Enchiladas with Greens


One Straw Farm is an organic “outreach” place with one feisty “Lady Joan Norman” as half of the farmer team and you can see the other half-tall and lanky Drew Norman, in the photo above. Rumor has it that Joan's Swiss Chard Burritos are incredible. Here is the base recipe for using your choice of greens. Also use corn or flour tortillas as you prefer. The recipe is the basic foundation so make it to fit your needs.

  • 1 bunch greens- chard, collards, kale or a mixture of the greens.
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • corn  or flour tortillas
  • salsa of choice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Sauté the greens in oil and garlic.

Make a cheese sauce with milk, cheese, flour and butter. Mix cheese sauce into greens. Place the mixture into a tortilla, roll and place onto a greased baking dish. Cover with salsa and bake @ 375 for 20 min.

Radishes with Arugula Scallion Pesto

Arugula Scallion Pesto-yields about 1 cup

  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pinenuts
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup packed arugula
  • 1 cup scallions, green and lighter color, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or more for desired consistency)
  • salt  and ground pepper to taste

Puree garlic, nuts, cheese arugula and scallions first iin a food processor smooth. Stir in cheese and season to taste.

Serve with fresh radishes sliced in half lengthwise, leaving a small leaf attached. It's great with all raw vegetables, spread on bread, crackers,pasta, sandwiches, poultry fish and meat.

Fusilli with Collards, Bacon, and Garlic

Serves 4

This great southern -style recipe is real inexpensive on money AND time since it can be made in 45 minutes or less.

  • 1 pound collards, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well and chopped coarse
  • 1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 pound fusilli (spiral-shaped pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • freshly grated Parmesan as an accompaniment


Recipe Break Down for a Marinated Kale Slaw

This post is written by Anne Hillson, who is on the Clagett Farm team for a second year raising your produce.

I must admit something to you, our farm community: after our first few weeks of shares, I had a Vegetable Crisis. Yes, even farmers can flinch in the face of such awesome kale poundage.

In the fall, I enjoy sauteed kale with butter and white wine but right now, as summer sidles in for its extended visit, I wanted something delicious, refreshing, and away from the stove, but I found myself momentarily stumped.

So this week I'm conquering my fear of raw kale by experimenting with marinated kale slaws. Taking inspiration from a kale recipe on, I've come up with a general recipe break-down that leaves the door (and salad bowl) open for variation. You'll also find a recipe for my current favorite, Marinated Kale Slaw with Kalamata Olives and Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette, plus a few ideas for your own kitchen escapades.See you at the farm!-Anne

Toss together de-ribbed and thinly sliced kale + vinaigrette + optional ingredients (cheese, fruit, nuts, olives, etc.)

Important notes:

  • The key to this slaw is slicing the kale thinly, no more than a ¼ inch wide and thinner if possible. This is easiest if you stack the de-ribbed leaves and roll them up to make a long kale “cigar” before slicing through the whole stack. The vegetable should look like green spaghetti.
  • Let sit for at least an hour so the kale softens up a bit and the flavors can mix.
  • If you are adding a softer cheese like goat cheese, you may want to mix it in just before serving so it doesn't fall apart too much.

Ideas to make it your own:

•    Black olives and feta with honey-lemon vinaigrette (see recipes below)
•    Cranberries and almonds with goat cheese and balsamic-sage vinaigrette
•    Parmesan and toasted walnuts with raspberry vinaigrette

Check out my recipes below (you'll forgive me I hope – I am a culinary finger-painter, not an architect, so all quantities are “to taste.”)

What do you plan to do with your kale? Share your ideas in the comments!

Marinated Kale Slaw with Kalamata Olives and Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette
•    Kale
•    Onion with greens, finely diced (optional)
•    Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below)
•    Feta cheese or goat's milk gouda
•    Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
•    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
•    Whisk together Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette in the bottom of a large bowl.
•    Remove ribs and thinly slice kale into strips no more than ¼ inch wide.
•    Add kale, onion, olives, and crumbled or grated cheese to bowl.
•    Toss with dressing and taste to adjust seasoning.

Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Juice of one lemon (use a fresh lemon, not bottled)
  • ½ clove garlic
  • Fresh herbs (I prefer thyme or sage)
  • A spoonful or two of honey, or to taste
  • Olive oil (use the best quality that you have)
  • Salt and pepper

Finely mince garlic and herbs (for dressings, I like to mash the minced garlic and herbs together into a paste with the flat of my knife to release the flavors and help it mix better)
Whisk together garlic, herbs, lemon juice, and honey with some salt and pepper.
Taste and adjust seasonings (this usually means adding more honey, salt, and/or pepper

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