January 12: Greens and Cheese
Local farmers are harvesting winter greens out of greenhouses and covered field plantings. Greens come in lots of flavors and textures: mild or spicy, hearty or tender. Whatever your pick, there’s a good local cheese pairing. Top salad greens with soft goat cheese and roasted beets or winter squash, or mix eggs, sautéed greens, and cheese and scramble for a quick meal or bake gently in a pie crust. Saag paneer, a creamy Indian dish of greens and the fresh cheese paneer, works beautifully with a mix of local winter greens.
We made saag paneer the other night with paneer from Sidehill Farm and a mixture of greens—kale, turnip greens, and tat soi from the greenhouse, and some frozen beet greens from last summer. We used this recipe, more or less. We fried the cheese in butter, not ghee, used a frozen spicy pepper and frozen ginger from Old Friends Farm, and roughly pureed the greens with an immersion blender before adding the cheese and cream. It was really good, I’m ready to make it again. Sidehill’s paneer was delicious, but note that the recipe includes instructions for making your own—it’s a very simple cheese, and well worth trying with local milk!
Here’s a recipe from Meggin Thwing Eastman’s always-tasty Happy Valley Locavore blog for salad with roasted winter squash and goat cheese.