Hungarian Mushroom, Leek, and Kale Pilaf – This hearty side has the creamy and savory goodness of Hungarian soup but it’s a little lighter for warmer days, and brightened up with fresh spring leeks and kale!
I have long been part of the nursing weekend program drudgery. Some might say that working weekends is awesome because you get most of the week off, which is true in some senses, but it seems that all of the fun things happen on a weekend.
When I was in nursing school a well-seasoned nurse presented this aspect of the job as a “perk,” because “you have an excuse to get out of all of the things that everyone feels obligated to attend, but would rather not waste their time on, and no one thinks the less of you.”
After being a nurse for a few years I have to say that I disagree. I love going to EVERYTHING! From baby and bridal showers, to little kid birthday parties, cookouts, dinner parties, and work parties. What can I say, I like a good time! By the way, if you know me, I’m currently accepting invitations to all parties.
This past year I cut back my hours from three 12+ hour shifts 3 weekends a month to two 8 hour shifts two weekends a month. I did this in order to spend more time with my family, and with that decision rediscovered weekend fun!
One thing in particular that I felt I was really missing out on was our local farmer’s market that started a few years ago. The Lansdale Farmer’s Market has grown into quite the affair with local vegetable and meat farmers, coffee roasters, bakers, and a variety of other local vendors.
A couple of weeks ago, for the first time, I was able to check out what all the farmer’s market fuss was about. It was perfect timing because the summer season for my CSA doesn’t start until the beginning of June and I was dying for some fresh, quality produce (this means I wasn’t cheating on my CSA).
I found a number of treasures including fresh greens, leeks, mushrooms and fiddleheads. The more exotic items were definitely my biggest source of excitement, and I’ll be going back again this summer to supplement with the few unusual things I won’t find in my CSA box.
Today’s recipe is a spin off of Hungarian soup, which is a favorite of my husband’s. Now that we’re in May, soup season has long passed, but the ingredients for this hearty soup are very much in season. My Hungarian Mushroom, Leek, and Kale Pilaf still has the creamy and savory goodness of Hungarian soup but it’s a little lighter, and it’s brightened up with fresh spring leeks and kale.
Always remember to soak your leeks so that you don’t get grit in your dish!
Rinsing your barley with cold water after cooking will stop the cooking process and remove excess starch, which will make a more al dente grain.
Wine, the secret ingredient. Actually, creme fraiche is, but shhh!