I’m going whole hog with the West Coast lifestyle thing.
Well, maybe not ‘whole hog’, that’s not vegan. But I may be going ‘loco.’
I’m buying local anyways. I joined the Tofino Ucluelet Culinary Guild (TUCG) which provides locally sourced food and vegetables to Vancouver Island’s restaurants and foodies.
Aside from ordering a la carte, I can buy a Food Lovers box featuring the best veg and fruits of the week. Sometimes it’ll include an unusual but not too weird item. Exactly what’s in the box is a mystery until pickup.
Here’s what my first box looked like.
Fruits included raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries and first of the season peaches.
Veggies were french beans, fresh picked bib lettuce, cauliflower and purple kale. The kale was the not too weird vegetable. And carrots – lots and lots of carrots – a whole layer of them was hidden beneath the kale. An additional bonus was a swag of fresh sage and bay leaves, complements of a nearby restaurateur.
Cherries are my favorite summer fruit, so I started into those as soon as I got home. Peaches are my second favorite but I had to wait a day for them to ripen. They were juicy and flavorful.
Kale was the challenge item. I’d signed up for the box because I wanted to try at least one new item a week; something I’d never cooked before. This week it was kale.
I decided to start small. I picked a few leaves from the bunch, discarded the hard spines and chopped them into bite size pieces. In a medium hot saute pan I browned sliced garlic then added the kale. I expected it to cook down like spinach but apparently this leafy veg is different. Unlike spinach which breaks down into a soft mess of greens, kale renders no water and goes crispy in the pan. The leaves tasted a bit bitter, so I decided to chopped them finely, season it heartily and add to eggs and Parmesan cheese for an omelette.
The kale omelette didn’t taste awful. I felt nutritionally virtuous eating it. Honestly though, I think it was much improved by the accompanying baked beans and crusty hearth bread.
Problem is … I used only one tenth of the bunch of kale received.
What am I going to do with the rest of it?
I guess that’s the challenge for the rest of the week.