Om nom nom: Pepper Spring Greens with Buttered Cashews

Those that know me know I’m not incredibly into food; despite that I decided to sign up for an Abel & Cole veg box, and try and cook something. This is probably third or forth time I’ve ever tried to cook from a recipe!

This is the original recipe, from the Abel and Cole veg box companion book.
This is the original recipe, from the Abel and Cole veg box companion book.

In our box recently we received Spring Greens, which are a lot like chard, apparently, and Tim wanted some cachew nuts so we went with this recipe.

Another alteration we made was (because we couldn’t find any in Morrisons) pepper instead of chilli. Quite different, but worked really well. It was another ingrediant from our veg box, so I was pretty chuffed to be using them up.

IMG_1096First task was for me to start slicing up some onions. I’ve no idea what sliced means so I just cut them up a bit – horizontally and vertically. That’s probably fine.

Sliced onions
Not actually how I was cutting them. I’m not a freestyling knife ninja. Tim wanted an “action shot” of the cutting, but my hand was in the way.

Meanwhile, Tim was busy toasting the rice. We figured that meant “burn it a little”. We were very curious about this, as burning food was often the opposite of what the recipe tells us to do. We browned it off quite well, I think. It’s resistance to burning might have something do with the olive oil we generously gulped in.

"What, burn it? I can handle that."
“What, burn it? I can handle that.”

Next we added two cups of water to it, and it smelled really nice. Not like burnt food at all, but something we quite wanted to shove in our faces.

This is a technique Abel and Cole seem to love – “cups” and “gulps” and “handfuls”. Not actual measurements. Put Tim and I right out of our computer science comfort zones, but it all seemed to work out!

Another sensual action shot.
Another sensual action shot.

We went with the whole pepper, even though it was supposed to be substituting a single chilli. I like pepper, so we figured we’d go wild.

We were to wait until the onions were glossy. I’ve no idea how glossy onions are supposed to get, so we just went with it. I’ve learnt cooking is a lot about “yuh – that’s probably looks done”. How liberating. At that point we threw in some garlic and the peppers. And more olive oil, of course.

Peppers and onion, into the pan.
Looked and smelled pretty tasty pretty quickly!

We almost forgot about the spring greens and threw it in at the last minute. We were umming and ahhing over if we should be chopping it up or not, but decided that if it’s anything like spinach it’ll shrivel up when it hits the hit. It did a little bit, but we were probably supposed to tear it up as we were putting it in the pan.

Spring greens, into the pan!
The leaves being folded into the peppers, garlic, and onion.

By this time the water had boiled off the rice and it seemed to have steamed itself happily.

“Steam the rice” was a confusing command for us. We actually bought a steamer (was £15 at Morrisons, so we thought it was worth the punt) but decided against using it. It looked like the rice was full of steam anyway, since we had the lid on the pan. We almost never use that lid, so it was nice to get that out of the cupboard.

Nicely browned rice.
Nicely browned rice.

Because we were late throwing in the greens there was a worry that the rice would go cold before everything else was done. Not sure what we could do about that, but it turned out to be fine anyway.

Finishing up just meant frying the cashew nuts, which we messed up a little. We didn’t realise how quickly they would burn, and so ended up a little chard (no pun intended…).

Completed spring greens and toasted rice

It looked nothing like what was in the recipe book, but we were never expecting it too. It was really delicious though. I wasn’t in high hopes about liking it at all – I was actually mentally preparing a back-up meal for if this was foul. But we ate every bit of it.

As you can see, I took the excuse to break out my camera and catalogue our cooking experience. I was using my Canon 60D with a 50mm lens. Really narrow focal range, which can be tricky to work with, but really good at giving emphasis. Maybe my favourite lens I’ve played with.

I enjoyed not having too much time to fuss around with the shot. We were busy cooking! I had to shot and go.

One thought on “Om nom nom: Pepper Spring Greens with Buttered Cashews”

  1. Is everything in this post supposed to be super cute? You pretty much nailed toasting the rice, it means frying it (dry or in oil) until it’s fragrant.

    Steaming rice is a method of cooking it, also called the absorption method. Steamers are used to steaming vegetables, dumplings, etc.

    Not sure if you did this or not, but popping the lid on the veggies will make the chard wilt quicker.

    I haven’t heard a recipe describe cooking onions until “glossy” but I would take that to mean “translucent”, which is more common. Also sliced onion is the best thing to see in a recipe because it means you only have to chop the onion in half (across the root) and then chop across the onion halves so you have semicircular rings. WAY easier than diced onion :\

    Also — this part most astounded me — you realise a cup is a true measurement right? 250 mL = 1 metric cup
    I hope it didn’t tell you to use any tbsp or tsp!

    Cooking’s so much fun, and your final dish looks delicious! Keep up the dedication ;)

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