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Change in Season

What a difference a few weeks makes. One thing I love about spring is that as more vegetables come into play, you see a change from heavy, stodgy starch-laden meals to lighter fare. Hearty stews are soon replaced by omelettes, light soups and salads.

This is a non-traditional version of caldo verde. This version has smoked ham from Flying Pigs Farm and borlotti beans from Rancho Gordo as additions. It’s still tasty. Serve with a glass of white wine and a baguette, and you’re all set.

Caldo verde

1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed and cut into a chiffonade
potatoes, peeled and chopped
smoked ham or bacon, sliced thinly
shallots, peeled and diced
borlotti beans, cooked
1 1/2 to 2 quarts water
extra-virgin olive oil

Sweat shallots in olive oil over medium-low heat or until partially softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add ham or bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, or until ham is browned/bacon is crisp and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.

Add water, a pinch of salt, beans and potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Fold in kale and cook for an additional two minutes. Check seasoning. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil atop each serving bowl and serve immediately.

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In the Pantry

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