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Veggie Mash-Up

What’s old is new again – what with the uber popularity of kale, brussel sprouts and rutabagas.  In years past Mom could not bribe the kids to eat these veggies. But these days being green… is good!

A good example of an old but new veggie is the gorgeous Lacinato Kale, so beloved in Italy in slow cooked soups, now often branded at the grocery store as Dinosaur Kale – the kids will love it.

Also new on the veggie hipster list are vegetable mash ups. Kalettes (KALE-etts) which is a cross between Brussel sprouts and Kale. Or Broccolini which is a hybrid of broccoli and gai lan (Chinese broccoli).

And the gorgeous Romanesco aka broccoflower: a lime green vegetable that takes the best of broccoli and cauliflower, and marries them together in a blissful union.

Eating in color is more important than ever these days and so many veggies are going back to their roots with small farmers growing awesome heirloom varieties that are also so vibrant in color, like purple kohlrabi and hot pink centered watermelon radishes!

And with spring on its way our local markets will be brimming with amazing veggies in no time. Don’t have time to get to your local market  – check out Barn2Door. This UN-Grocery online store gives you 24/7 access and a direct line of communication between the grower and access to an ever changing fresh sheet of local products. You can message the farmers directly! How cool is that? I also love local Salmonberry Goods, a wonderful organic farm delivery service that always tucks in something unusual into their weekly produce bags, such as that awesome purple daikon or giant celery roots! So get your veggie on and try something new. –Kathy

Farro with Lacinato Kale, Wild Mushrooms & Goat Cheese
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1/2 cup whole farro grain
2 quarts water
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced wild mushrooms (or substitute oyster, shitake or cremini)
4 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
pinch red chili flakes
1 large bunch Lacinato Kale** or other hearty green, torn
1/4 cup chicken or veggie broth
Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt or salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon
2 to 3 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre), or shaved/grated aged hard cheese

To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine farro and water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer; cook the grain for about 30 minutes, or until very tender, but do not let it become mushy. Add more water if it gets low. Drain the cooked farro and set aside. (You can do this the day before; refrigerate cooked grain.)

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Sauté mushrooms until half cooked, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes and sauté for a few seconds. Stir in kale. Add chicken broth and cooked farro, and cook, turning greens several times, until greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon over dish to brighten flavor. Serve dolloped with goat cheese or grated nice aged cheese.

**Also often called dinosaur or black kale.

Recipe and Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios.

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