Food for Busy Times

It's been quite some time since I've posted about cooking, mostly because I've been too busy to cook elaborate meals. Between starting a new job, my brother/roommate having a nasty bike accident, and spending every spare moment in the garden; my afternoons spent cooking up elaborate local feasts have gone by the wayside - at least for now. When I have had time to cook, I've lacked the time to blog about it. I haven't left my local food ideals behind though. I've been making tasty, easy meals with local ingredients, just like always. They're just not as elaborate or exciting as they could be......

This dish is pretty representative of the way I've been eating recently.

I got these beautiful beets from the East Side Farmer's Market in Madison - from Blue Skies Farm in Brooklyn WI. I wanted to eat the greens as fresh as possible, so I saved the beets for later and chopped up the greens for dinner right after market. People should eat more beet greens. They're better then chard, but many people just chop them off and throw them away.

These are the first of the peas from the back garden. It really doesn't get enough sun back there for pea plants to thrive. They seem kind of weak, but they're still damn tasty!

The garlic scapes also came from the Blue Skies Farm. They've got a surprisingly strong, spicy flavor.

I cooked some Willow Creek Farm sausage with the scapes......

I'm not sure how I feel about these tomatoes. They're local, from the Co-op, but they're not real summer tomatoes yet, and they're not organic. I bought this one anyway, chopped it up, and added it to the pork. A few minutes later I added the beet greens and peas.

I mixed it all with rice and a tiny bit of heavy cream and topped it all with some yummy hard cheese from Monroe. Dinner!

Cheesy Sausage and Rice with Local June Veggies

Rice, cooked
Italian sausage
1/8 cup heavy cream
Seasonal vegetables (beet greens, garlic scapes, snow peas, tomato)
A hard cheese like Asiago or Parmesan

Cook the rice. In a cast iron skillet, cook the chopped garlic scapes (or onion or garlic) with with the sausage. Add the vegetables, in the order of their softness (hardest veggies first) until everything is cooked. Add the vegetables to the rice and stir in the cream and salt to taste. Top individual bowls with grated cheese.

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