Friday, February 29, 2008

Mustard greens with red potatoes
adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

Mustard greens have a sharp smell and strong mustardy taste. Red potatoes also have a strong sweet smell and flavor. The two blend well together.

Our farmers market in Belmont does not have a vendor who carries mustard. However the Saturday market in neighboring San Mateo is wonderful with multiple vendors in many categories. There are both regular and organic varieties available here. The farmer’s market is located at the top of Hillsdale at the community college which is a steep invigorating bike ride away that takes about 25 minutes. The views from the top are unmatched in the Bay Area.

Trim the stalks of one bunch of greens then cut the leaves in one inch strips and then cut across the strips in two inch lengths. Trim the stalks fine discarding the hard lower portion. Layer into the 6” oval roaster. Salt the layers. At the top layer one or two garlic cloves chopped fine.

Pick red potatoes about two inches across. I get these from Raymond. Cut in half then half again. Fine slice the quarters and layer on top. Salt. Drizzle two tablespoons vegetable oil (I use safflower or sunflower) both grown in Northern California and available at Whole Food Markets. You can also use olive oil from the San Mateo or Belmont Farmers Market which is grown much closer in northern Napa. Top with a teaspoon of crushed dried chili peppers. (Place your farmers market chillies in a large flat basket in a cool dark place. They will dry out in six weeks. Dry in the sun for a couple of days then bottle for the winter.)

I had to bake for an hour and a half in the oven in the winter position with the reflector because there was a light haze. Then baked for another hour and a half with the reflector off. Mix throughly. Before serving warm. You can also top with a sharp cheese like Parmesan, gorgonzola, feta, or cheddar, only the last of which is available at the farmers market in San Mateo. There are more cheese varieties at the weekend farmer’s market in Berkeley.

The day started foggy and the sun didn't poke through until 11:00 AM. I had the oven ready to go at 11:30 and took the greens out at 2:30 PM. There weren't any clouds after 1:00 PM otherwise I would have left it in for another hour.

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