30 May // monday greens and ginger dreams

Do other people have that thing when you feel like the universe is conspiring to make you eat something? Like when you think of a certain dish or ingredient, and then it's like everything leads you to eating that thing? Or someone will mention a food item and afterwards you simply cannot rest until you've eaten it? I had a meeting about pies this morning and afterwards was powerless to the overwhelming need to eat a pie for lunch (cheesy pumpkin with wholemeal pastry since you asked, delicious). At uni once my friend was telling me about how she'd had a tub of sweet chilli philly (you know, those tubs of Philadelphia cream cheese slathered in sweet chilli sauce that were popular in the early 2000s?) the night before and I basically went straight to the supermarket after that conversation and had sweet chilli philly for dinner with my flatmate. In hindsight, quite gross. And probably not the best way to dictate your eating decisions. 

Anyway, after getting some beautiful organic fresh ginger from my local veggie market I was flicking through a Cuisine magazine from last year (March 2015, with a tropcial coconut cake on the cover) and saw a page done by local food legend Ginny Grant entitled What to do with Ginger. It had bite-sized and extremely helpful suggestions of, um, what to do with ginger. It appealed to my throw-together cooking style because it's not measured recipes, but small paragraphs of ideas, ranging from: Poach rhubarb, pears, or apples with slices of preserved stem ginger, through to Add chopped preserved ginger to your favourite gingerbread mix, and on to my favourite: Stir-fry kale or silverbeet with slivers of garlic, ginger, and sliced red chilli, then add a splash of water or stock, and steam until softened.  

That very same day I cooked dinner at my friend's house for her and I - she was on wine and dessert and me on the main. After braving the sideways rain, I walked in to find her pulling not one, not two, but three beautiful Al Brown gingerbread loaves out of the oven. This particular dear friend and I were flatmates back in Wellington, and since she used to profess to not being able to cook, I actually beamed with pride a little bit at this scene of domestic goddessness. Since acquiring a KitchenAid mixer for a wedding present a couple of months ago she's been unstoppable. For dinner I cooked us NZ King salmon - so simple, so delicious, with crispy skin and a squeeze of lemon for good measure, and alongside it we had a very simple slaw and the aforementioned kale and silverbeet with ginger, garlic, and a little chilli. It took about 15 minutes and despite these terribly lit photos, it was excellent. Chardonnay, salmon, greens, life downloads, and fresh gingerbread. Ginger dreams all round. 

ginger greens

Adapted from the March 2015 Cuisine magazine

Ingredients

A big pile of kale and rainbow chard/silverbeet or spinach

A couple of cloves of garlic (go for fresh NZ stuff)

A few slivers each of fresh, peeled, ginger

Half a thinly sliced red chilli 

A knob of butter, or a small drizzle of oil

A squeeze of lemon juice 

Method

1. Rinse the greens well, and roughly chop

2. Heat oil or butter in a medium saucepan or a frying pan with a lid

3. Add greens and stir fry for a bit

4. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilli. Add a splash of water. Cover the pot or pan and steam until softened. 

5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon. They're great with fish or steak!