CSA Adventures…A little green and a lot of bacon

There’s an amazing recipe for Fresh Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting coming soon. But first, so that you won’t think I’m turning all of my CSA goodies into baked goods, let me share what else has been going on.

A couple of weeks ago, the CSA bag began filling with greens. While mustard greens remain one of the few foods I cannot stomach, I’m pretty open to other green, leafy veggies. The first one that I decided to tackle was this beautiful Swiss Chard.

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My first rule of cooking is “When in doubt, ask Mom.” And my mother didn’t fail me. She told me I could prepare my chard in a manner similar to how I would prepare spinach. I felt confident going into this that I could conquer any vegetable with enough butter and bacon grease. Sticking true to that, I fried a couple of pieces of lean center cut bacon, then sautéed my chard in the grease. Center cut bacon really doesn’t produce very much grease so it wasn’t nearly as artery clogging as it sounds. Then I grumbled my bacon up with the chard. Mom was right, it tasted very much like spinach to me.

chard

I served it with a meatloaf that I made using fresh sage and oregano from my CSA bounty. I honestly would not have thought to use those herbs in meatloaf but my CSA’s blog suggested it and it was a great suggestion! It really gave the meatloaf a fresh taste.

Another green in the bag that I was more familiar with was red leaf lettuce. I eat a lot of salad so that one seemed like a no brainer. But I decided to experiment a little. Growing up, my mom loved fresh lettuce and green onions from her garden dressed with bacon grease. It wasn’t something she ate often-for the obvious artery clogging reasons-but it was a nice summer tradition. I thought it was repulsive and was shocked when I reached high school and one of my best friends told me how much she loved lettuce, onion and bacon salad.

It turns out that this salad is a fairly beloved delicacy around here. I still wouldn’t try it even after I delivered my bff Starr some fresh lettuce and green onions from Mom’s garden a few summers ago so that she could make a salad. However, I decided that after 37 years (dang, I forget how old I am sometimes!) it was time to try it.

Having been advised by Starr that “cornbread is essential”, I made myself a small skillet of bread (cornbread MUST be round!), and while the bread baked, I worked on my salad. It couldn’t be more simple: chop up lettuce, chop some green onion, fry up some bacon then top salad with bacon and drippings. Serve cornbread on the side, and viola!

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Starr calls this “Killed Salad” while others call it “Wilted Salad”. Because I’m a food and history nerd, I did a little research online and found that Killed (“Kilt”) Salad is a traditional Appalachian salad and is often associated with the mountains of Tennessee. Obviously, it made its way north to Kentucky at some point. Most of what I read confirmed what Starr told me, one must consume this with cornbread.

As you can tell, I’m really enjoying trying some new foods and spending more time in the kitchen!

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