Miso Vegetables and Rice with Black Sesame Dressing

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s newest cookbook, “Plenty More,” arrived yesterday. I confess – I preordered – and was so excited when it arrived at my door! This dish looked perfect for a night in where I was feeling “comfort food” with an Asian angle. The key to this recipe is to prepare all the vegetables ahead of time, because they each braise quickly in a miso, vegetarian dash broth. I chopped all of my vegetables ahead of time, and plated them for easy access.

IMG_0745    This dish also has a base of sushi rice. I had forgotten just how tender and sweet this rice can be, even without the added sugar and rice vinegar you often find in other recipes. Sugar snap peas, carrots, cucumber, and bok choy from my garden (instead of the broccolini from the recipe) and some beautiful organic beech mushrooms. Topped with fresh cilantro, chili, roasted peanuts, black sesame seeds and rice wine vinegar, this was a great dinner, and leftovers made a great lunch the next day!

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Freezing Kale for Winter

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Some years in Philadelphia, we’re lucky to have  kale in our raised beds all winter long. But in other parts of the country, and during particularly hard winters everywhere, your kale isn’t going to make it through the winter.

Though it won’t really work in a fresh salad, frozen kale is a great addition to winter smoothies, soups and stews, sauces, the list goes on.

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If you’re interested in freezing some kale for winter, it’s a fairly easy and straight-forward process. Start by picking the kale (or picking some up at your local farmer’s market. Pull the leaves off of the stem, and slice into thin strips.

Bring a large pot of water to boy, and add a bit of salt, then plunge the kale leaves into the boiling water, stirring, and allow to boil for a few minutes, until it becomes tender. Pull from the hot water bath, and plunge immediately into very cold water (or water with some ice floating in it!

Drain the kale in a colander, and then squeeze any extra water from the greens. Pack highly into freezer boxesProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset or freezer bags, and label with “Kale” and the year. I know it sounds silly, but I’ve dug so many greens from the depths of my freezer that I had to thaw to identify. What you’re sure you’ll remember now, you might not remember in a month!

Sure, it takes a few steps, and a little bit of advanced planning, but you’ll be happy to “break off” a hunk of organic greens from your freezer this winter