In response to some of the worst economic times since the Great Depression, I’m excited to launch my “grow. cook. grub.” series. With unemployment climbing, diet-related illnesses increasing and health-care costs skyrocketing, more and more people are looking to feed themselves healthfully, simply and cheaply. Using my family and community as an example, I will show readers how easy it is to cook health-promoting, delicious and inexpensive meals all year using food from my home garden, CSA and local farmer’s markets.
Oscar Grant Greens
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: about 1 1/2 quart
Soundtrack: “Home” by The Modern Jazz Quartet from Blues At Carnegie Hall
This stock is all-purpose and can be used whenever a vegetable stock is called for. In addition to the suggested ingredients below, you can add the tough stems and trimmings from leafy greens and other vegetables.
2 large onions, quartered (include skin)
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
8 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced (stems included)
1 whole garlic bulb, unpeeled, broken up and smashed with the back of a knife
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
9 cups water
• In a stockpot over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered until the vegetables are meltingly tender, about 1 hour.
• Strain the vegetables, pressing down on them to extract all their liquids. Discard (and compost) the cooked vegetables.
Bryant Terry is an award-winning eco-chef, food justice activist, and Food and Society Policy Fellow. He co-authored Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen (Tarcher/Penguin), and he is the author of the forthcoming Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African American Cuisine (Da Capo/Perseus March 2009).