Do you ever find yourself with an abundance of produce from your CSA subscription and are not totally sure what to do with it all? Or, if you’re a farmer — maybe especially because you’re a farmer — you’re more than set with a particular ingredient but short on ideas for how to prepare it in interesting ways again and again? We all have our favorites, but variety is always good and reducing waste is a big plus! The USDA estimates that 21% of the available food supply is wasted in homes, but we know that supporters of working farms and ranches want to make a difference in this regard.
I have always loved food and cooking and all that food is, beyond the requisite calories. My childhood in West Germany and my creative, efficient, cook-with-what-you-have mother with a sprawling vegetable garden, shaped my early years. A Thomas J. Watson Fellowship in 1996 took me to rural Italy and Mexico to deepen my understanding of how and why people cook the way they do. More than a decade of involvement with Slow Food, locally, nationally and internationally brought together my interest in food systems, regenerative agriculture and the combination of joy and justice. — Katherine Deumling
Users of the Farm Stay USA website may sign up for an individual membership on Cook With What You Have with a 20% discount using the code farmstayusa at checkout. For $4.99 per month, subscribers will have access to the entire searchable archive of recipes, tips, and techniques, plus a weekly newsletter with seasonal highlights and inspiration for the week.
Our dues-paying US Farm Stay Association members may subscribe to the Farm Stay USA organizational level and use CWWYH content (as applicable) in their day-to-day business of serving meals to guests, teaching cooking classes, or sharing recipes with their guests.
Please enjoy one of CWWYH’s seasonal recipes below!
Collard Greens with Winter Squash and Bacon
I threw this dish together one night and it turned out to be a winner. You could fry or poach an egg to serve on top of this and call it dinner.
For this dish to work you need a large skillet and you need to cut the squash into really small pieces. I suggest 1-inch long little batons or some such. You want the vegetables to have enough room so they sauté/brown rather than steaming.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 smallish bunch collard greens, washed, any tough stems removed and leaves cut in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise thin ribbons
- 2 shallots or half an onion, thinly sliced
- 2 (or more) slices bacon, cut into dice
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or other hot pepper (optional)
- 3-4 cups winter squash (Butternut, Hubbard, Delicata, etc.), cut into small pieces, see headnote
- Salt and pepper
Heat oil in the biggest skillet you have over medium-high heat. Add the onion or shallot and bacon and cook until the onions begin browning and the bacon renders most of its fat. Add the squash and the greens and several generous pinches of salt. Mix well and cook, covered, stirring often to prevent the veggies from burning, until the squash is tender, the greens have begun to caramelize a bit but still have a bite. If things get too dry you can add a little splash of water and cover to speed up the cooking. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.