This is the season of plenty around here, and with plenty comes....plenty of work. We've been stuffing our faces with fresh tomato salad and roasted kale and sweet corn fritters and berry crumble and all manner of colorful deliciousness all summer long (and have been abismally lax about blogging about it. Oops.) but now, now is the time when we start to think about things like frost, and sweaters, and potato soup. And we start to panic a little because ohmygoshwhatwillweeat??? I know we are not at real risk of starving, not here, not today. Even if we didn't set aside one carrot, we could survive the winter and even gain a few pounds on supermarket fare. But it still feels like we'll starve (or at least it does to me - Jesse thinks that's the crazy coming through), and so this time of year I start, in earnest, to channel my inner squirrel.
I blanch greens and beans and broccoli and roast pound of red and yellow beets. I wear out Sharpie after Sharpie labeling freezer bags, and ruin more than one pan boiling down armfuls of berries and plums for jam. I fill the basement shelves with mason jars that send multi-colored flickers around the room, light bouncing off the tomatoes and apple butter, pickles and dilly beans. I store and I store and I store and then, somwhere in all that frantic hoarding, I make dinner.
Understandably, dinners this time of year, in this bridge between summer and fall, plenty and not-quite-enough, are simple affairs, things we can throw together in a few minutes while still tending the canning pot and the steamer basket. But we also don't want to miss out on these last weeks of fresh food, either, so we try to let the flavors of the summer come through in our September meals. Here's a favorite:
Eggs in a Nest
1 huge bunch rainbow chard (or spinach or kale or beet greens)
onion and garlic
balsamic vinegar (good stuff)
Saute up your onion and garlic in some olive oil. Add your greens (de-stemmed) and when they start to wilt, dump in a glug of balsamic (we used this schmancy 18 year old stuff we got at Fiore). Let it all cook till the greens are soft.
With the back of a spoon, make little dents in the blanket of greens (your "nests") and crack an egg into each nest.
Cover the pan and let the eggs poach. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (I also add a little squeeze of lemon juice, but I always do that) and then scoop out your nest and devour it. The whole process takes maybe 15 minutes, and it tastes as good as your ingredients are - so get good ingredients, and you won't be disappointed.