Cooking with Complimentary Colors

Green and red are found on opposite sides of a standard color wheel. This relationship makes green and red a complimentary color pair and gives meals a striking look. Alternatively, purple-red colors such as purple kale, plum and eggplant make a bold statement when paired with green as well.

(Photo by Gloria Weg)

CSA member Brian Surowiec sent us three amazing recipes to try out, and I highly recommend them. Use your vibrant greens with these. Thanks Brian!

“I made this tonight with last week’s wax beans and radishes. It was really good and would recommend people giving it a try. I’m sure it’d be just as good with this week’s beans and turnips which I’ll be trying next.”

Sauteed Radishes with Green Beans

· 1 tablespoon butter

· 1/2 pound fresh green or wax beans, trimmed

· 1 cup thinly sliced radishes

· 1/2 teaspoon sugar

· 1/4 teaspoon salt

· 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

1. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add beans; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender.

2. Add radishes; cook 2-3 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar and salt; sprinkle with nuts.

Editor's Note:

To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Prep time is about 20 min and makes 4 servings.

Brian also made a very cool pasta dish.

“Earlier in the week I made pasta using dinosaur kale topped with basil pesto using last week’s kale and basil. Both were really good as well.”

For more info on dinosaur kale, check out The Spruce Eats.

Brian also sent a link to a video to watch as this recipe has a few steps. It is fascinating to watch.

Foglie d'Ulivo With Summer Salsa Verde

  • For the pasta:

  • 5 ounces fresh spinach or other tender greens (see author notes)

  • 300 grams (10.6 ounces, ~2 cups) semolina or semola rimacinata flour

  • 75 milliliters (2.65 ounces, ~1/3 cup) water

  • For the salsa verde:

  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only

  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves only

  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves

  • medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 2 ounces Castelvetrano (or similar) olives, pitted and roughly chopped

  • anchovy fillets (optional, but excellent)

  • small fresh green chile, such as serrano or jalapeño (see author notes)

  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained

  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

  • 1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste

Make the pasta dough Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove any tough stems and/or ribs from the greens as needed (see author note) and roughly chop any large leaves. Blanch the greens in the boiling water until wilted and vibrant in color, about 20 seconds. Drain immediately and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.  Transfer the greens to a blender with enough water so the blender runs smoothly, about 1/4 cup, and a homogenous, loose purée emerges. Weigh out 75 grams (~1/3 cup) of the purée and whisk together with the 75 milliliters (~1/3 cup) of water. Any leftover purée can be frozen in any air-tight container for future use. Combine the greens mixture with the flour according to the “well method” (see author notes for a link to the method). Alternatively, add the flour to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. With the machine running, stream in the greens mixture until beads of dough start to form, then pulse until a coarse couscous-like texture emerges.  Once you’re done with the well method or the food processor, transfer the dough to a flat, ideally wooden surface and knead vigorously for about 10 minutes until smooth and firm. It should spring back to the touch and should not be sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic or a damp dish towel and allow it to rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Make the sauce While the dough rests, remove the seeds and white pith from the chili pepper and roughly chop it. I find it helpful to taste a small piece to check the spice level before adding it to the sauce (you can always add more!). Combine the herbs, garlic, olives, anchovies, chili pepper, capers, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment. Stream in the olive oil as you pulse to combine until the mixture is well-chopped but still coarse. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and season to taste with salt, more lemon juice, and any of the other ingredients to your liking.  Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and drizzle more olive oil on top so the mixture is just submerged. Set aside.  Note: This sauce can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Bring to room temperature before use and whisk to combine.

Make the pasta Dust a baking sheet or with a light layer of semolina flour (or coarse cornmeal or polenta) and keep it nearby. Alternatively, line the tray with a dry dish towel.  On a wooden cutting board or surface, cut off a small piece of the dough with a bench scraper or sharp knife. Immediately re-wrap the remaining dough in the plastic or the damp dish towel to prevent it from drying out. Roll the piece of dough into a long, thin rope, about 1/4-inch thick. Cut the rope into roughly 1½-inch pieces. Roll each piece back and forth between your hands while putting more pressure on the ends so they become tapered. If it’s easier, place each piece horizontally on the board and roll the ends a bit thinner than the center. To form the foglie d'ulivo, position each piece of dough vertically on the board. Then, holding a butter knife almost parallel to the board, press its serrated edge into the center of the dough and begin to drag it horizontally. As you go, hold the starting point down gently with one or two fingers to keep the dough from sliding away. Continue stretching the dough with the knife until the center is wider than the tapered ends and looks like a flat leaf. The serrated edge should create rough ridges—it’ll take a few tries to get a sense of how much pressure to use so the dough stretches but doesn’t tear. I find the motion to be a little gentler than making orecchiette (see author notes for a link to the method).  Transfer the finished foglie d'ulivo to the baking sheet in a single layer and repeat the process until the dough is gone. Remember that if you’re not satisfied with a particular piece, you can just scrunch the dough up and try again! Storage notes: This pasta can be cooked right away or left to dry at room temperature for a couple of hours. For long-term storage, freeze the pasta on the baking sheet until solid, about 30 minutes, then dust off any excess semolina flour from the bottoms and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. The pasta will keep best for a couple of weeks and up to about a month. It should be cooked straight from frozen.

Finish the dish Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Right before adding the pasta, add a generous amount of salt and allow a few seconds for it to dissolve. Cook the foglie d'ulivo for 2 to 3 minutes or until al dente (make sure to taste a piece after a couple of minutes to see how it’s coming along!).  With a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta directly to the large bowl with the salsa verde. Toss vigorously to combine—the residual pasta water and olive oil will thicken into a silky sauce. Serve immediately, topped with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, if desired.

Here is a basil pesto recipe that Brian also shared.

Basil Pesto

· ¼ cup (30 grams) pine nuts

· 1 medium clove garlic, peeled

· 2 cups (70 grams) tightly packed basil leaves, preferably Genovese

· ⅔ cup (60 grams) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

· ⅓ cup (30 grams) finely grated pecorino, preferably pecorino sardo

· Sea salt

· ⅓ cup (80 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

· 1 pound trofie or spaghetti

1. Set a large pot of water to boil over high heat.

2. Use a mortar and pestle to pound and grind the pine nuts to a fine paste (no distinct pieces should be visible). Add the garlic and pound until smooth and integrated.

3. If the basil leaves are very large, run a knife through them once or twice to cut them down in size.  Add basil to pine nuts along with a pinch of salt, which will help break down the leaves. Continue pounding and grinding until the basil breaks down completely (if your mortar is small, pound the basil in batches), about 7 minutes. Once the nuts and basil combine into a thick green paste, stir in Parmesan, pecorino, and oil. Taste and adjust salt as needed.

4. Generously season water with salt. Cook pasta until al dente, then drain, reserving a cup of cooking water (Tip: heat your serving bowl by using it as a lid for pasta pot).

5. Place cooked pasta in serving bowl and stir in pesto. Add splashes of cooking water and olive oil as needed to loosen the sauce and ensure the pasta is evenly coated. Garnish with Parmigiano and serve immediately.

Notes: Pesto can also be made in a food processor. Immerse any leftover pesto in olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


"And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun, And she forgot the blue above the trees, And she forgot the dells where waters run, And she forgot the chillyautumn breeze;

She had no knowledge when the day was done, And the new morn she saw not: but in peace Hung over her sweet Basil evermore, And moistened it with tears unto the core" (John Keats).

Enjoy your harvest this week and send me your recipes:

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