• 2 bunches collard greens or a mixture of collards, kale, chard, spinach, turnips tops, etc.

    sea salt and freshly ground pepper

    3 medium yellow potatoes, scrubbed and diced

    3-4 strips bacon, cut into small pieces (optional)

    2 Tbs. olive oil

    1/2 onion or 1 bunch scallions, chopped

    1-2 garlic cloves, minced

    pinch of red pepper flakes

    hot pepper sauce or vinegar for the table


    • Strip the collards from the stem and wash. Bring a few quarts of water to a boil. Add salt and the greens and simmer for 5 minutes. Scoop collards into a bowl. Add potatoes to the cooking water and simmer until tender, 7-10 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet or in the oven. Set aside to drain.
    • Heat oil in a pan (you can use a little bacon grease, too). Add the onion and sautee about 5 minutes.
    • Chop the cooked greens, then add them to the pan along with the garlic and pepper flakes. Scoop some of the potato water into the pan so that everything cooks in a little moisture.
    • When potatoes are tender, scoop them out and add them to the greens. Add the bacon, toss everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and season to taste with hot sauce and/or vinegar.


  • Being the web guy for Valley Flora has it's benefits. Each week brings cucumbers, radishes, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, squash and any number of odd but tasty items that pile up -- hey a geek can only eat so many vegetables between pizza and espresso!

     Oh I grill and salad to my hearts content but each Wednesday yet more produce comes and I'm still left over with whatever I didn't get around to gnoshing on the previous week. Fresh food is wonderful but what's worse is watching it slowly wilt into mush so I hit on a simple solution: Vinaigrette Slury

     I have a big covered stainless steel bowl in my fridge filled with vinegar, olive oil, chopped up garlic, some basil, cilantro, black pepper, a bit of marjoram, some jalapeno or crushed red pepper and Dijon mustard -- a classic vinaigrette but heavy on the vinegar (I use a combo of red wine and apple cider vinegar). As the Valley Flora Veg get a little on the squishy side I just chop them up and throw them in the bowl. Cucumbers, tomatoes & onions do especially good in this bath, but squashes, and even spinach will soak up the goodness for quite a while without turning to yuk.

     So whatever I'm making, I just grab out some of that pickled veg and add it. For fresh salads it's great as a bit of spice and vinegar, it's freaking awesome on hot bagels with creme cheese and even better as a crunch on a taco or as a side to a nice bit of lamb. Best part is, it doesn't go bad!


    So don't despair if your veg are going soft -- just open up a vinegar spa in your fridge and let them soak


    BTW: Lee's Bees Honey just went live with a bunch of Oregon honey just south at Cape Blanco so check out the new site.  Still working on it but I think it's going to be pretty cool.


    -Zachary the VF web geek


  • Makes 6 servings
    1/6 lb. prosciutoo, finely chopped
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1 Tbsp.  sugar
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    1 lb.  fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and torn into pieces
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    1/2 c.  sliced black olives
    grated parmesan cheese
    1.  Cook and stir prosciutto in hot oil in skillet over medium heat.  When browned, add garlic.  Cook 2 minutes.  Add wine, juice, sugar, salt, and pepper;  heat just until simmering.  Pour over spinach in bowl. 
    2.  Add walnuts, olives, and Parmesan to bowl;  toss.  Serve at once while dressing is still warm.

    Recipe from The Café Brenda Cookbook, 25th Anniversary Edition.
    Permission to share recipe given by Brenda Langton.
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup bread crumbs
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    Mix the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and pine nuts together with the olive oil. Set aside.
    1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach (approximately 2 cups cooked)
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    3 shallots, minced
    1 small onion, minced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 medium zucchini, diced
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup half and half or soy milk
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon star anise powder
    1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
    fresh cracked pepper
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs: basil, thyme,marjoram, or oregano (or 1/2 tablespoon dried herbs)
    1 cup grated cheese: Swiss, Gruyere, or your favorite kind
    Wash spinach and pick off stems. Briefly steam the spinach until it is wilted. Set it aside in a colander to drain. Gently squeeze out excess liquid.
    Sauté garlic, shallots, and onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat until onion is translucent. Add zucchini, and continue cooking until zucchini is lightly cooked, approximately 3 minutes.
    Combine all of the cooked vegetables in a food processor or blender. Add eggs, half and half or soy milk, salt, anise, orange rind, pepper, and herbs. Puree until just smooth.
    Pour spinach mixture into a buttered 2 1/2 quart dish or individual gratin dishes and top with bread crumbs.
    Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes for quart dish or approximately 20 minutes for individual dishes. Gratin is done when the center is firm to touch.
    Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.

  • I recently purchased this cookbook. The first recipe I attempted was this soup and it was fabulous.  I DID substitute half and half for the cream, I must admit. 
    I wrote and asked permission from the authors to share it with everyone, they were delighted to.  Was able to use 4 items from my weekly basket!
    serves 6
    6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock (p. 35)
    2 tbsp (3O mL) vegetable oil
    1 yellow onion, diced
    6 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh thyme
    1 112 tsp (7.5 mL) salt
    1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) red chile flakes
    1 large potato, peeled and diced
    4 broccoli stalks (2 cups florets
    1/2 lb (225 g) spinach, stemmed
    1 cup (24O mL) heavy cream
    1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cracked pepper
    1/2 bunch ltalian parsley, stemmed
    1/2 cup (12O mL) toasted, sliced
    2 .garlic cloves
    1/2 cup (12O mL) grated Romano
    1/4 cup (60 mLi olive oil
    salt and pepper, to taste
    Heat stock and keep it warm while preparing the soup. Heat oil
    in a soup pot over medium-high heat and saut6 the onion until
    translucent. Add garlic, salt, thyme and chile flakes and saut6
    until golden. stir in broccoli and potato; cook for several minutes.
    Add warm stock to cover; bring to a simmer and cook, paftially
    covered, until the broccoli and potatoes are just tender.
    stir in the spinach leaves and turn off the heat. Let the soup rest
    until the spinach wilts, then pur6e until smooth. Reheat the
    pur6e, add cream and more stock to thin, if necessary. Season
    to taste with salt and pepper.
    Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a hard boil. Add the
    salt and reserved broccoli florets and blanch until just done and
    bright green (about 1 minute). Strain immediately and plunge the
    florets into a bowl of ice water. Let them cool off, then strain
    and spread out on a clean, dry towel to drain. Set aside
    To prepare the pesto, place the parsley, almonds, garlic and
    cheese in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the
    olive oil and pur6e, stopping short of making it completely
    smooth. Blend in salt and pepper to taste.
    Serve the soup hot, with a swirl of pesto in each bowl and
    garnished with broccoli florets.



  • Baby spinach dressed in a light raspberry vinagrette and tossed with frest strawberries, almonds and creamy goat cheese.
    1/2 shallot, finely chopped
    2+ tablespoons of raspberry vinegar
    1/4 cup E V olive oil
    6 oz baby spinach
    5 +strawberries  thinly sliced
    1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
    2 0z goat cheese crumbled.
    combine the shallots and vinegar in a small bowl.  Add the oil while continuously whisking, set aside.
    Put spinach, starberries, almonds, and goat cheese in a large bowl and gently toss to combione. add dressing to taste and toss once more .  serve immediately
    230 cals   120 mg sodium.  8 gr total carbs  5 gr protein.
    whole foods market recipe  ;)