See this basket? All of it came from my friend, Emalee’s backyard, a no-till vegetable patch established in 2012 with compost from the city of West Palm Beach (you have to provide the truck, some muscles and a wheelbarrow) and still going strong. I came home with Japanese eggplants and tomatoes in abundance. What to do?
This morning, I started chopping and slicing and sautéing, O Mio Babbino Caro playing in the background, and by noon, I had the base for a Vegetable Korma — I’ll add the yoghurt just before I serve it — and a caponata from the Kripalu cookbook series (a good way to preserve tomatoes and eggplant). The curry was going to be our lunch, then my spouse called from the dentist to say he needed to have an all liquid lunch. So, I quickly turned some broccoli, CSA and home-grown, into a soup. Here’s the recipe for the Broccoli Garlic Soup:
Two cups of tender, washed broccoli stalks
4 cloves of garlic mashed
2 T. olive oil
1/3 – 1/2 cup of water
Sea or kosher salt to taste
Put everything into a heavy saucepan, cover and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the broccoli stalks are tender but not mushy. Time varies, but about 7-10 minutes should do it. Pour it into the blender jar. Add water to just cover and puree until smooth. Serve room temperature with a dollop of yoghurt on top. The broccoli prepared this way is delicious as a side as well, and I have Dr. Andrew Weil to thank for the basic recipe. I’ve used it for green beans and broccoli rape, and it’s simple and good.
I realize that many people, e.g. the single mother of two in A Place at the Table , the documentary about hunger I’ve been writing about, do not have ready access to fresh, local produce. And that’s something that can change as more people start-up community gardens in urban ‘food deserts’. But there is also much she could do with staples like lentils, black beans, and chick peas, if there was somewhere she could go to learn. Great nutrition for her kids and herself at very low-cost prepared without fancy pots or gadgets, now that’s social action through food, and well worth working on.
Since seeing the documentary, I’ve been surfing around looking at food bloggers, especially those with a social conscience, and yesterday, I hit a bonanza. The Giving Table. I like their slogan, too: Doing Good With Food. On April 8, bloggers were invited to add content to their sites in recognition of hunger in America. http://www.givingtable.org/food-bloggers-against-hunger There is a ground-swell of passion for solving this intractable problem and it gives me hope.