Free-Floating Hostility

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Iron Chef Organic

Our organic farm subscription has been a lot of fun so far. However, it has presented me with a new challenge: how to make Mike eat new vegetables. One of the pleasures of cooking for Mike is that he never complains. He is generally grateful to be fed, and not a real picky eater anyway. I've come to rely on this attitude, so much so that once back in college he suggested that I had undercooked some onions and I cried. I am a competent chef, and working with such a flexible eater I was confident, nay arrogant, that I could cook anything well enough to make him like it.

The first issue was Chard. I had never cooked chard in my life, swiss or otherwise. Earlier this year one of my classmates toured the Berkeley community gardens, and came back embarrassed that she hadn't recognized one of the vegetables on the tour. "What's char?" she asked me, figuring I would know. "Greens," I shrugged, "No one really eats them." My first attempt was a recipe for Potato and Swiss Chard Enchiladas that I pulled off the food network. Mixed reviews. The second time (there was a lot of chard) I just mixed it in with some spinach for a pasta sauce, and this went over better, with Mike taking seconds and assuring me it tasted good.

Squash, however, is another story. Mike is clinging to the story that he was traumatized by some spaghetti squash in his youth, and that he simply cannot like squash now. Nevermind that this was sunburst squash (I can't bring myself to say patty pan), a totally different species. He only recently managed to bring himself to eat pumpkin pie. This is one of the weirder food things I've encountered since we learned that Alex cannot stomach cold cheese. Anywhow, first I used the squash to make grilled vegetable kebabs in a cilantro dipping sauce. Mike said he liked the dipping sauce. Then I opted for the old garlic-and-olive oil route, using a basil-infused oil, and a touch of cinnamon and crushed red pepper. It came out very nicely, and I was feeling proud of myself, but Mike was clearly just choking it down for fear of my reaction if he didn't. When I looked reproachful he said, "Look, you've achieved something big. I ate it. I like it better than the squash I had as a kid." The newsletter enclosed with our vegetables warned us to summer for the next few weeks. I will let you know when Mike cracks.

5 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at July 22, 2006 11:11 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • A good Swiss Chard recipe which I know you have eaten at my table.

    Cut the stems so that the roughish part is off leaving nice smooth ends. Having sauteed a few whole cloves of garlic in Olive Oil, just put the swiss chard in with water to cover and cook it on a very slow flame till the stems are soft.

  •   Posted by Anonymous Trixie at July 22, 2006 11:11 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • anonymous was me , but I don't know my password. Trixie

  •   Posted by Blogger Jeff'y at July 24, 2006 10:21 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Back when I was still in Sea Gate my family did Urban Organic, which sounds similar. They let you list two items that you never want, which would be replaced by extras of something else. I always put down chard (it seemed to cover all varieties) and dandelion greens (which, if you've never seen a commercial where a young child runs through a field on a sunny day in a Downy-fresh shirt, stops to bend down and blow on a dandelion puff, and then proceeds to eat the stem and leaves from said dandelion plant, there's a reason why).

    I recently was given some chard that I could not in any politeness decline, grown in a small garden in a small town in upstate New York. As the anono-Trixie suggests, cooking it in olive oil with much garlic is probably the easiest way to be done with it.

  •   Posted by Blogger Laura at July 27, 2006 1:59 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I really like chard! I second the olive oil suggestion, but I'd add that if you throw on some rice vinegar, pine nuts, and salt/pepper at the last minute, you'll have a very yummy side dish.

  •   Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at May 30, 2012 1:35 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • いま大人気なアメリカブランド品tory burch は君のために登場してきました!モダンでクラシック感がたっぷり溢れているものです!トリーバーチが欲しい。世界のセレブに愛用されているらしいブランドだとはあとで知りました。トリーバーチ ショルダー&ハンドバッグ セレブもそれほど高価なものを買っているわけではないのかな。

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