We signed up for a CSA and it started this week. Our kitchen is flooded with every green thing imaginable: spinach, scallions, green garlic, rabe, several varieties of lettuce….you get the idea. I’ve been a pretty uninspired cook lately but I found that heaps of pre-paid produce snap you into gear whether you feel inspired or not.
The other thing that has helped is a book my dear friend Emily recommended called The Everlasting Kitchen. It’s a lovely, lyrical little book that gives loose instructions about how to minimize waste in your kitchen and make the most out of all your ingredients. It’s more full of suggestions than recipes, which appealed to me as a more advanced home cook, and it’s full of time- and money-saving ideas.
Therefore, today I present you with a very simple recipe. The trick of it is not in the ingredients or the technique- it’s in the fact that I threw it together in 10 minutes on a Thursday night and was still able to enjoy the flavors of roasted garlic and caramelized onions, which usually take at least 45 minutes.
At the beginning of the week, I roasted batches of vegetables that like to roast, such as sweet potatoes and broccoli. I threw in 5-6 garlic cloves on the baking sheets (no oil, in their skins.) When all the roasting was done, I stored the veggies in containers and saved the garlic to the side.
Two days later, when making a frittata (tasty, recipe to come), instead of using just the one onion I planned to use, I sliced all three of the ones we had and spent a good leisurely hour talking on the phone and getting a skillet full of melted gooey and brown onions. I placed those in a plastic bag with the garlic in the fridge. I wasn’t sure of my plans for them, but roasted garlic and caramelized onions are never a hardship to have on hand. (PS: I caramelized the onions in butter and I’m not sorry.)
The Everlasting Meal also reminded me of the simple beauty of toast as a centerpiece of a meal. Sometimes I forget that you can heap a bunch of vegetables on a good piece of bread and that can be it. So that was it: no recipe, just toast a piece of bread, rub roasted garlic over it with a fork, pile caramelized onions on top. Rinse and chop broccoli rabe and wilt it in a hot pan with some roasted pepper flakes. Then add it to the toast and enjoy the fact that you planned for your own happiness (in the form of garlic and onions) earlier in the week, and you are now able to reap the rewards.