Spring hash + spring links

roof, again

Guys, hanging out on a roof on a Friday spring evening is fun. I highly encourage it.

If hanging on roofs isn’t your thing this spring, can I suggest something else?

Spring hash

I’m going to be that food blogger and tell you: “Oh, this old thing? Why, I only make this when I don’t know what to make.”

But seriously. When you take fresh produce and cook them together for a bit and add something zesty, it’s hard to go wrong. Even if you think you can’t just whip up something, you can. K?

K.

ingredients

kale kale everywhere

Spring Hash
Inspired by a sauteed spinach dish from Boqueira

Notes: This is sort of a warm salad, sort of a side dish, and all kinds of delicious. Be sure to have all the ingredients prepped beforehand, as they get thrown in the pan pretty quickly. To make a light meal out of the Spring Hash, serve with some bread (a sourdough variation of this bread is pictured) and olive oil for dipping. Of course, a fried or poached egg would feel right at home on a bed of these greens, too. And if you don’t have these exact ingredients, don’t fret – this recipe is made for compromisin’. (Doon doon doon doon doon doon doon doon.)

  • 1 bunch of spinach (or about two cups of packed spinach leaves), roughly chopped
  • 4 – 5 leaves of kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks (leaving the heads intact, just because it’s prettier that way)
  • onion, chopped, to taste
  • something crunchy – sliced almonds, chopped cashews, or pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup raisins (golden, preferably)
  • pickled vegetables, if you have any and want to add them
  • 1/4 cup (or so) apple cider vinegar (or another vinegar of your choosing, but I’d stay away from a heavy balsamic for this one)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons mustard – I used a ramp mustard, but I think a grainy dijon or something like that would be good too.
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • herbs to sprinkle on top, if you have them – chives, lemon thyme, or parsley, for example
  • olive oil

1. Toast your crunch (nuts, pepitas, etc.) – I like to toast them in a dry skillet for 5 – 10 minutes, shaking the pan every so often to ensure they don’t burn. You could also toast them in the oven on a baking sheet – detailed instructions here. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard; taste and adjust ratio to your liking. Set your crunch and the vinegar-mustard aside.

2. Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add your onion and sauté until softened and beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the raisins. Add the asparagus, stir to coat in olive oil and add more oil if needed. Cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally, until asparagus turns bright green and begins to soften, but still has some crunch. Add the kale, stir to coat, cook 1 minute more. Add spinach and vinegar-mustard, stir to coat everything. Add more vinegar-mustard if you’d like it to be more saucy. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in the crunch, add any additional add-ins such as pickled veggies, chopped tomatoes, or whatever you fancy.  Taste and add salt and pepper as you like.

4. Dish up! Garnish with herbs, scallions, or a grate of cheese.

dinner

~~~

Need more spring-time food inspiration? I thought you’d never ask:

flatbreads

  • Pasta with kale, pinto beans, and pepitas in a chipotle-yogurt sauce – inspired by this post but with a few tweaks.

chipotle pasta

  • Last but not least, something to sip on: make your own ginger liqueur. I followed the recipe almost exactly, but used lemon zest instead of orange and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean. Next time I make it (and from the looks of it, that will be soon) I might reduce the sugar a teensy bit. I know a liqueur is supposed to be sweet, but the beauty of making your own is that it doesn’t have to be. My favorite way (so far) to use the liqueur: In a tall glass add 1 shot liqueur, 1 shot rum (Mt. Gay Eclipse, to be exact), a few dashes of bitters (preferably Angostura), and a squeeze of lime. Stir, fill half of glass with ice. Top with ginger beer, stir. It’s like a dark and stormy, but, well, stormier.*

ginger liqueur, pre-strain

I’ll leave you with that – the stormier drink is calling my name, and the last three episodes of Arrested Development are itching to be watched. Speaking of Arrested Development, check back on Monday for a special, Bluth-filled post. It’s sure to be a mouthful.

Kara

*That was totally a reference to a June 2011 post on Gilt Taste entitled “The Classic Dark ‘n Stormy, Made Stormier” and I went to go find the link so that I could share it with you but IT’S GONE! I’ve been wondering if something had gone awry with Gilt’s recipes, as they hadn’t updated since last fall, but now I can’t find any of the recipes. Anyone out there know what happened? Did I just miss the giant, flashing link that says “GILT TASTE RECIPES ARE STILL HERE” in my panic-ridden state? In any case, I have a cached version of that post, which, more to the point, contains a recipe for homemade ginger beer. Stay tuned.

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