In our never-ending quest to plow through our CSA veggies we’ve combined the yin and yang of healthy and gluttonous. Buttermilk gives everything a tangy zip while the additions from the garden make it a mac attack to be reckoned with.
Equipment Needed: 3 QT Pot, Steamer, 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Frying Pan, Spatula, Cheese Grater, Colander, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Spoon, Kitchen Shears (optional)
Serving Suggestion: Family Style
Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Un-oaked Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc
Suggested Beer Pairing: Belgian Browns, ESB Ale, Dunkelweizen
- 2 bunches broccoli (about $2.89/lb)
- 1/2 lb kale (about $1.49/lb)
- 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
- 8-10 slices turkey bacon ($4.50/12 oz package)
- 3 small serrano peppers (Thomas grew these but you should be able to get them for about $2/lb; substitute 2 jalapenos if you like)
- 2-3 C low-fat buttermilk ($2.19/QT)
- 3 TBSP butter ($4.99/lb)
- 4 TBSP flour ($1.89/2 lbs)
- Italian-style or Panko bread crumbs ($2.99/24 oz package)
- 8 oz fontina cheese ($8.99/lb)
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese ($5.99/lb)
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni ($0.99/lb)
- Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
Note: This recipe has a lot of moving parts so you can do them in almost any order you want, but we recommend making the cheese sauce last before throwing everything in the oven.
- Start boiling water for your macaroni. As soon as it’s at a rolling boil toss in a couple pinches of salt, some olive oil and the pasta and cook it until it’s al dente (about 6 minutes or so). Drain and pour the pasta into the baking pan
- Wash all your veggies. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets, trim the kale off the stems, dice the onion and peppers, and mince the garlic.
- Using the same pot you did your pasta in, add the steamer basket and some water so it’s just barely touching the bottom of the steamer. Bring it up to a simmer, add the kale and steam for about 15 minutes. Remove and drain the kale, add more water if you need to and repeat the process with the broccoli. Once the veggies are done, toss them in with the pasta. (NOTE: If you don’t have a steamer basket, or don’t have the patience to wait 30 minutes, you can saute the broccoli and kale.)
- While your veggies are steaming, put the frying pan over medium heat and cut your turkey bacon into it. Fry up the pieces and about halfway through add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook them down. Add the entire mix to the baking pan with the rest of it.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F about 20 minutes before you’re ready to bake the final product.
- Again, reusing your pot put it over low heat and melt down your butter. Add the flour and stir together to make a roux. Cook it until it’s golden brown and add 2 cups of buttermilk. Stirring constantly, grate in the cheddar and fontina and heat the pot of gold until the cheeses are totally melted and incorporated. Add more buttermilk as necessary to thin things out; the final sauce should be slightly runnier than chocolate syrup.
- Pour the sauce over the baking pan mixture and, carefully, stir the whole thing so it’s all incorporated. Coat the top evenly with breadcrumbs and pop it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Serve and mow your way through the cheesy garden of goodness.