Happy second day of Spring! How’s everyone’s snow day going?
While I’m happily snugged up at home, this is a liiiiittle ridiculous.
Everyone starts talking about how ready they are for spring in early Janaury and normally, I’m not here for that. There are four seasons, y’all, at least if you live in the Northeast. It’s supposed to be cold and snowy in the wintertime. And yes, it’s supposed to be cold in early spring. But damn! This slew of nor’easters is something else.
What I’m saying is, I’m a little over bundling up in a knee length parka and breaking into a sweat while being jostled on the subway. I’m ready to wear a denim jacket and break into a sweat while being jostled on the subway.
For now, let’s just all enjoy this last (?!) snow day and prepare to finally leave the cold behind for warm breezes and daffodils and allergies and all that spring has to offer. Which has to be coming to us soon…right? Right?!
In the meantime, we need warm, nourishing meals to comfort us on these last, lingering days of winter weather. I have two recipes for you that use mostly the same ingredients, which is key for those of us who have been too lazy to do any big shops lately. For me, they’re pantry staples, and maybe they are for you too, which is all the better if you don’t feel like trudging out into the snow to get the groceries you forgot to get last night. They’re both recipes that warm you up without slowing you down, because, hey, it is spring and some of us still need to train for ten-mile races in May.
Sorry, that started getting really self-specific and these recipes are for everyone.
The first recipe I’m sharing is a mix between this salad I made last summer and Melissa Clark’s recipe for sauteed kale over polenta (which can be found in her cookbook). I use duck prosciutto because I’m bougie and also it’s really easy to freeze and just saw off the exact amount you need with a serrated knife, rather than thaw too much bacon because you didn’t plan ahead and portion it out before you froze it, amirite guys?! Alternatively, you can lean more on Melissa’s recipe and use anchovies to add that extra boost of flavor.
The next recipe is a Roman egg drop soup. I watched it being made on Bon Appetit’s Instagram story one day a few weeks ago and I had to go home and make it right away. It hardly feels like it even needs a recipe, but I used Samin Nosrat’s as a basis (you know, from her book that I love and think everyone should get). A very slightly different recipe, still one of Samin’s, can be found here. I used kale, but Samin uses parsley and in the Bon Appetit test kitchen they used spinach.
So go get to it, and soon enough, we’ll be talking about picnic menus and my birthday and what even is rhubarb??
Sauteed Kale and Radicchio with Polenta
Inspired by Melissa Clark
Serves: 2 hungry lil hippos
*Note: This is one of those recipes that can take a lot of variations. Add less cheese if you want, or add more. Add some cream to the polenta, or just use yogurt. Ya know?
1 bunch of kale, washed and ripped into bite-size pieces
½ a head of radicchio, shredded
3-4 ounces bacon (or other thick cut cured meat), diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup polenta
A dollop or two greek yogurt or sour cream
Parmesan and/or pecorino, about half a cup grated, plus extra for sprinkling
Olive oil, for frying
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare your polenta according to package ingredients. Or try this recipe. I add the majority of the cheese and greek yogurt once the polenta is finished.
- In a pan over medium heat, crisp up the bacon. Removed with a slotted spoon and set to the side. Add a quick glug or two of olive oil to the pan.
- Toss in the garlic, give it a quick stir around and pan and almost immediately, add the kale and radicchio. Season with salt and pepper. I like to add a little water here to generate some steam – two or three tablespoons. Cook that down to your liking, somewhere between 3 and 10 minutes. Mix the bacon back in.
- Once the polenta and kale are finished, plate it up. The kale mixture goes on top of the polenta.
- In the now empty pan, add a little more oil and fry the eggs. Pop those babies on top of the kale, sprinkle with some parmesan or pecorino, plus some flaky sea salt. Go you. You did it. Now go run 5 miles. Oh no, that’s just me.
Stracchiatella, or, Roman Egg Drop Soup
Based on this recipe
Serves: 2-3 virtuous lil birdies
*Note: This is another extremely flexible recipe. Use whatever hearty greens you have. Or parsley – and if you do, whisk it with the eggs. You can even use peas and just throw them in a minute before the eggs.
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch kale, washed and ripped into bite-size pieces
½ cup grated parmesan or pecorino, plus more to serve
Parmesan rind, optional
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Crusty sourdough, to serve
- In a small-ish pot, bring the stock to a simmer. If you have a spare parmesan rind, add it now.
- In a (preferably) spouted bowl or mixing cup, whisk together the eggs, cheese, and a good pinch of two of salt and some nice cranks of pepper.
- Add the kale to the simmering stock and stir, letting it wilt a bit. Still stirring, add the eggs in a steady stream.
- Pat yourself on the back for the hard work you just put into that and ladle some into a bowl. Grab some of that (warmed, obvi) sourdough and tuck in.