I’m really not a hippy October 19, 2011Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.
First off, I want to make one thing abundantly clear.
I am not a hippy.
I’m not a vegan, and, while I’m all for taking reasonably measures to practice good stewardship when it comes to animals, natural resources, and the environment in general, I like meat, I run the air conditioning in the summer, and I drive a tank.
At most, I guess I can be considered a crunchy con.
I came home from the public market a couple of weeks ago with my usual late-summer vegetable overload.
See, that’s another thing. Local, seasonal – that’s all well and good. But sort of hippy-ish sounding, isn’t it?
But you know what?
Local means fresh. And fresh means tastes better. I’d rather my food travels an hour than a week.
And seasonal? Well, that’s just another word for “we have more of this stuff than we know what to do with, so, here, give me a buck and you can have some.” So yeah, smaller carbon footprint, blah blah blah, but the bottom line is that it’s fresher, it tastes better, and it’s cheap.
And probably better for us, to boot.
Hey, I’m not getting any younger. I’ll take my vitamins and minerals where I can can get them.
I had picked up a lovely, lovely bunch of fresh mustard greens one fine morning, and I felt like I was in the mood for chick peas that week.
So I did a Google search.
And I found some curried chick peas, and some soups, and, well then I saw Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas with Mustard Greens and thought that that sounded . . . different. And interesting.
We did make a couple of changes to the recipe – we used chicken stock instead of vegetable (I had an open jar and, well, I’m not a vegan).
And, of course, we cooked dried beans rather than open a can.
I guess we’re just crunchy that way, too.
Oh, and I added a bit of our homemade pepper-garlic sauce, just because.
Political (or apolitical) views aside, what about the beans? And the greens?
And, well, what about it?
This was actually a kind of neat dish – different from our usual fare.
We started with an oniony, nicely-seasoned broth, that we used to braise the freshest of mustard greens.
Then, after removing the greens and onions, we create the glaze – the leftover broth, some balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and sugar (which is what makes the glaze really glazy) and add the perfectly cooked chick peas.
That whole mess cooks until the liquid is, essentially, reduced to tar.
Lovely, sticky, sweet, glazy tar.
Then we tossed the greens back in (since they could use a bit of reheating by now anyway) and served with oven-fresh bread.
The bottom line?
Well worth the effort. The greens were fresh and hearty, and the beans were beautiful – perfectly cooked and sticky and sweet and glazy.
We doubled the recipe as written – and it was plenty for the three of us.
And we didn’t even need a pork chop or anything with it.