Included in my mission to eat as locally as possible is to not waste anything, which has been a theory I have always tried to live by, especially when dealing with a tight budget as I am!
Last Friday when I determined the turnips were going to be the first thing devoured from my CSA box, you know I wasn’t going to let those yummy greens go unused. Sunday night I braised the turnip greens with homemade meatballs loaded with fresh herbs from my balcony.
The link to my herbed (gluten free) meatballs is here. They are awesome and I always keep some in the freezer.
My herbs of choice this go round were chervil and sweet globe basil.
I have a vague recollection of seeing globe basil before but never paid much attention. But the garden center I went to was actually out of regular sweet basil, we already had purple planted in the friendship garden, and I spotted this pretty round dome shaped plant with tiny green leaves.
It claimed to have the same sweetness as regular basil in a tiny leaf. So I picked off a leaf to check it out. It was true, it has same sharp unmistakable flavor of basil. I snatched it up and so far it seems to be faring quite well on the balcony. I’ll admit I’m a little nervous about how long this might last since that oak tree that was allowing a lot of dappled sun to reach my planter boxes, has filled out and is being less generous with those precious rays.
To prepare the greens, I had already removed the really tough stems last week while I was waiting for the baby turnips to roast. One of my beagles was delighted by this because he got to chow down on a couple of those stems. He loves greens! He will dive into a bag of collards or kale before I can even get in the front door!
The greens were rough chopped and added to a skillet with sauted bacon, some salt, red pepper flakes and water. Cook covered on low heat for an hour or so, finish with some sherry vinegar. It never ceases to amaze me the difference in flavor in the greens I’ve been getting at the grocery store all winter, and the ones just picked down the road only hours before they got to me.