It always seems to happen that we have potluck to go to the day before I am due to go grocery shopping. This means we have nothing but odds and ends to try coax into a presentable dish. My summer garden got in pretty late this year, so it had mostly odds and ends to offer as well—older kale, collards, turnip and carrot thinnings, garlic scapes, a bit of holey Chinese cabbage, bolted onions, and peas on the verge. They didn’t seem to add up to much, and a less thrifty person might have sent them to the compost pile.
I am always excited and daunted by potlucks as we are fortunate to run in the same circles as some creative and fabulous cooks/gardeners. But, at the last minute this July 4th, inspiration hit. Green curry may not have been the most patriotic of dishes, but I decided on this day that it represented my independence from the grocery store. There was nothing left of it by sundown, so I’ll count that as a success.
Here’s how you can do it too:
- Take whatever you have that is green from your garden and a few things that aren’t.
- If you have garlic, chop that first and set aside. (I learned that when you slice garlic it takes 10-15 minutes for an enzyme to create a beneficial and heat-stable compound called allicin . This doesn’t happen if you cook it right away)
- Next chop anything onion-like and start that sautéing with olive oil over medium heat. I added chopped garlic scapes right after the onion.
- The mature kale and collard leaves were next in the sauté so they wouldn’t be too tough.
- Then in went a few tiny carrots and turnips and about a cup of water. I turned the heat up to high to get a quick boil.
- The peas and Chinese cabbage went last so they would stay a little crisp.
- I stirred in a can of coconut milk, a big scoop of green curry paste, and black pepper. (Now would be a good time to add chicken or veggie bullion for a richer flavor, but I didn’t do that and still liked it. Basil would have been nice, but my plants are still babies.)
- Turn off the heat and salt to taste.
I chopped some mint and chives and sprinkled on the top just before serving over rice.
After some consideration, I took out the onion flower garnish shown in the picture below. It was too much.
This green curry was a gluten free, veggie dish for our friends who lean that way, but it could be nice with chicken or shrimp for those that like meat. I would have liked a little extra spice—a few green jalapenos would have done the trick, but then it would have been less kid-friendly and I don’t have any peppers yet.
The thing to remember is that you can put just about anything in this dish, add coconut milk and curry paste and it’s probably going to be a winner.
สุขภาพที่ดี ความเป็นอิสระ (That’s Thai for good health and independence!)