Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This side of the equinox

The slide into the graying of winter has begun. No, longer I am I being greeted by that early morning light squeezing through my curtains, and as my eyes open I am warmly cocooned in my down comforter. It is amazing how quickly my desire for cold sliced watermelon, juicy and sticky peaches or, petite patty pan squash fades with the season’s shifting light. In the last few days as I have been marketing I have been drawn to the freshly dug starchy tubers that has fed a globe – potatoes which originated in South America has managed to ingratiate themselves into cuisines across the earth, and it is definitely a staple of many a juvenile plate – oh, the French fry. And, even I, who is closer to the grave than the cradle succumbs to the emotional pleasure of the French fry though I will admit I hate deep-fat frying at home so I am always on the lookout for a good crisp.

This humble vegetable has a caloric delivery of about 150 calories for a medium sized potato (approximate 6 ounce serving) before we dollop the sour cream; brown the shredded cheddar, and then garnish with bacon bits. The truth-be-told I am not too obsessed with the gilding as I am more interested in keeping my calories correct for the season. It takes more energy to keep warm, and if in fact, one eats within nature’s seasonal bounty we naturally get more caloric intense foods to warm our bodies, hearts and souls just when we need it.

Potatoes with Greens – serving 6 to 8
1-pound small fingerling potatoes
1/4-cup olive oil
3 to 4 garlic cloves – thinly sliced
5 scallions – sliced into 2-inch pieces
3 cups roughly chopped kale, Swiss chard, turnip or collard greens (or, any combination)
1/8-teaspoon chili flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In two-quart sauce potato cover the potatoes with cold water and add 3 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil, and then simmer the heat to simmer. Cook the potatoes about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes.

Heat a 10 or 12-inch sauté pan, and add the drain potatoes and oil. Then add in the garlic, scallions, greens, chili flakes and black pepper. Gently toss to wilt down the greens. Serve warm.

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