It isn't possible to grow everything in every climate, or it is but it just isn't practical. The British nobility would grow pineapples in glasshouses heated by furnaces as long ago as the 18th century but this doesn't mean that it is the best use of resources. [click on the article it is fascinating] This truly is a case of eating local being an elitist activity.
One of the things that I tend to eat often and doesn't grow so well in the heat and humidity (mostly it is the humidity) is dried beans. I have been unable to find a local source of anything but fresh beans and that season lasts about two weeks in the summer. (Traditionally beans are left on the plant to dry and in the humidity of the area they tend to mold). Because of this, I am always trying to find new small farm sources for beans. Rancho Gordo is a great source for heirloom beans grown in California and Mexico (by small farmers trying to protect varieties that have lost favor). And I tend to make one or two big orders of beans each year. But this December, through the Foodzie Tasting Club, I discovered Zursun Idaho Heirloom Beans and used them in this weeks challenge meal.
Last time I was at Arrowine spending a Living Social deal, I picked up some Chicken Sausage with Hatch Green Chilies made by Simply Sausage. A local sausage company that is constantly being hyped by my Slow Food convivium. So I cooked some of this up and served it with roasted beets, carrots and green lentils. All I can say is yum.
Roasted Beets and Green Lentils
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 80
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 9 oz uncooked beet greens, peeled and chopped
- 5 1/2 oz Carrots, chopped
- 1 3/4 oz uncooked shallot(s), peeled and halved
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, garlic flavored
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup(s) dry lentils
- 1/4 cup(s) parsley, chopped
In medium roasting pan, place beets, carrots, shallots and 1.5 Tbs olive oil. Coat vegetables with oil. Add thyme, salt and pepper and roast in oven until vegetables begin to brown. About 20 minutes.
Add lentils and 1.5 cups water, stir and then cover with foil. Cook until lentils are tender and all water is absorbed, about 1 hour.
Remove pan from oven and dress with vinegar and remaining oil. Cool slightly and stir in chopped parsley. Adjust salt and pepper and serve.