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I recently found a new item in my CSA box that I thought looked more like a weed. It turns out that purslane is a succulent that grows wild and while its generally viewed as a weed here in the U.S., it’s actually quite tasty and nutritious. It’s got more Omega-3’s than any other plant, as well as loads of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It’s used in Europe, the Middle East, and Mexico and honestly tastes pretty delicious on its own: salty and lemony. But, mysteriously I wanted to turn my stove on and try something different. I combined some recipes I found from Afghanistan and Mexico and came up with a really simple and delicious recipe.

Sauteed Purslane and Eggs

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 bunch purslane, large stems removed
  • 4 eggs, cracked and scrambled
  • salt to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomato and purslane and simmer until the purslane is tender, the tomatoes are broken down, and the liquid begins to thicken. Stir in eggs and cook until firm. Serve with flat bread or soft tortillas. Serves 2 to 4.


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Beet and Beet Green Gratin

One of my favorite vegetables is the beet, and 90% of the time, I eat them boiled or roasted, sliced up and topped with a little salt. But, I’m trying to get out of a culinary rut, so I did a little Googling and came across this recipe for beet and beet green gratin from my beloved NY Times. The ingredients are simple so the beets really shine, is only 170 calories a serving, and makes great cold leftovers, which are my favorite. It served as a great light supper, but would also make a good side dish to roast chicken. Not surprisingly, I made a few tweaks to the recipe due to what was in my refrigerator and my innate laziness. The prep is a little time consuming, but but you can cook the beets and prep the greens a few days before.

Beet and Beet Green Gratin

  • 2 bunches beets (6-8 beets) with greens attached
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 ounces parmesan, grated (1/2 cup)
  • 1 bunch chives, minced
  • pinch of salt
  1. Cut greens off beets 1/4 in from the base, and set them aside. Roast beets in 400 F or boil until fork tender, ~30-45 minutes. Once beets have cooled, the skins should slide right off, remove top, then slice horizontally.
  2. Rinse greens, cut off and discard stems, and chop leaves coarsely. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, add garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, ~2-3 minutes. Add leaves, cover, and cook until tender, ~ 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F and lightly grease a 2 quart casserole. Combine last 5 ingredients, then fold in greens and beets.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until dish is set and golden brown on top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

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Leek and Almond Kookoo

No, that’s not a weird misspelling in my title, my suppers for this week are a leek and almond kookoo. A kookoo is the Middle Eastern or Northern African version of the French frittata or the Spanish tortilla. It’s an egg based dished filled with vegetables and other goodies. I checked out a Moroccan cookbook from my library and decided this was the perfect use of some of my recent CSA ingredients: eggs, leeks and almonds. The recipe actually called for walnuts, but since the almonds were handy, I decided to make a substitution. Plus it also uses turmeric which I’ve been reading good things about.

Leek and Almond Kookoo

  • 2 tbsp butter + more for greasing
  • 3/4 lb leeks, finely diced
  • 5 tbsp almonds, chopped or slivered
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp turmeric (optional but tasty)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp parsley (again, optional but tasty)

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 2 qt casserole (I used a 9×9.)

Over medium heat in a medium skillet, melt butter. Stir in leeks, almonds, flour, salt, pepper & turmeric, then remove from heat. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Pour leek mixture into the eggs, and stir until everything is mixed. Pour into prepared casserole and bake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick can be removed cleanly.

Serves 4. Makes for a nice meal along with some plain yogurt, a simple salad and a piece of pita.

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Yacon Stirfry

There’s been a couple of yacon rattling in my refrigerator and I wanted to do something beyond my usual salad of shredded yacon with lemon juice. After some Googling, I found yacon.wordpress.com which not surprisingly features a number of yacon recipes. For something a little different, I decided to use their beef and yacon stirfry recipe as inspiration. The yacon itself adds a slightly sweet crunchy, not unlike water chestnuts. The original recipe called for Asian greens, but I had broccoli greens from Nevermore and they added such great flavor. Feel free to sub in bok choy or spinach.

Yacon and Mushroom Stirfry

  •  3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • salt
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • ½ lb mushrooms, sliced (I used white because they’re cheap, but shiitakes are nice)
  • 1 bunch broccoli greens, destemmed and chopped
  • 1 lb yacon, peeled and shredded
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In a bowl, scramble eggs with a pinch of salt. Add to the skillet and cook to your desired hardness. Set eggs aside.

Add remaining oil, turn heat to medium high, then add onions. Cook about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutesm until mushrooms and onions are lightly browned. Add greens, yacon and hoisin sauce and allow to cook until greens are soft, about 5 minutes. Fold (cooked) eggs in, until ingredients are evenly coated. Serve over rice or noodles. Serves 4.

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