Blessed Relief

It cooled off wonderfully last night, allowing for some actual cooking. And the variety of leftovers beckoned to be transformed into something other than themselves, lest monotony make for a sullen, listless dinner. So I pulled out a whole bunch of containers, made a pass through the garden, and got to work.

Since there were lots of lentils and a fair amount of the raw marinated kale (read back a couple of posts and you’ll see) I decided to make kofta in a sort of a saag kind of a thing. I had picked more collards to add volume to the greens, so I began by sautéeing onion, shredded collards, and seeds (coriander, fenugreek, mustard, and cumin) and then adding in the marinated kale along with grated ginger, minced lemongrass, lime leaf, and curry plant (not curry leaf, but the silvery, lavender-looking one that smells so strong and good). After some simmering, I puréed it all into an appealingly dense and creamy texture.

As I mixed an egg yolk and some panko into the lentils, the panko got me thinking. So instead of simmering lentil balls in the greens mixture, I instead rolled them in more crumbs and then browned them up good in a bit of canola oil. Less healthy, sure, but not by much. And so very wondrous tasting, with creamy insides wearing crunchy brown jackets. I strew radish thinnings around for some raw green and gentle bite, and we tucked in.

There was the vaguest of tensions between the dill–always an assertive flavor–and the more traditional curry spices, but the various complex overtones of all of the different pungent seeds were sufficient to reduce it to an artful dissonance rather than an off note. These greens were really good. And little fried cakes are hard to hate.

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Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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