sugar beet harvest is more than halfway done! i couldn't believe it when eggboy told me this news yesterday. he's expecting it to be over by friday, making it a contender for the smoothest harvest in my three-harvest history on the farm. it is at once a joy, because once it ends there will be more eggboy time for me (!!), and a shame because i've been liking the weirdness of the harvest schedule and the excitement of having all of the extra workers and their significant others around.
a typical day for eggboy this past week has been a midnight to noon shift in the fields and then another few hours being a man about the farm. a typical day for me this past week has been:
6am: wake up! before the sun! eggboy is long gone, which is kind of lonely at first but then i realize that 1) he has left me coffee and it's already cooled to a temperature where i can chug it at the speed of light, and 2) i can do all of the beyoncé dance workout videos on youtube without anyone seeing me.
7am: let out the chickies! this is normally eggboy's job but i've been doing it this week and getting a perfect shot of cold crisp air in the morning as i shout with glee, good morrrrrrning chickies! as if they are all at summer camp and i am the camp director wishing everyone a swell morning over the p.a. then i count them to make sure they're all there. and then i take in the creamsicle sunrise.
sometime before noon: make a baked good for all of the drivers to enjoy when they get off their shifts and then run it out to the sweet table that i've set up in the workshop. this is extra fun! it makes me feel like i have a little bakery.
sometime between noon and 5pm: have lunch with eggboy. by this time he is exhausted and trying to adjust his eyes to going to sleep, so he wears sunglasses. and i don't know if he lost his or what but he's been wearing my iris apfel ones and it's completely absurd.
5pm: tuck eggboy into bed, do a little more work, and then parrrrrrrtay. either with all of my new cookbooks and prime time television, or with the other "harvest widows," as i think we're called. but i hate that name. so i'm just gonna say emily and sheila.
nightfall: put the chickies to bed. another job that eggboy normally does but that i've been doing this week. it's a little scary to walk the five feet outside into the dark spooky nighttime but it's making me a stronger lady. 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻
meals this week have been a lot of things that don't have to be eaten immediately. sweets that can sit out in the shop at my little pop-up bakery, soups kept on the stove, quiche (lots of quiche)... and salads of various types. this broccoli rabe + chicken salad is inspired by a tasty situation that i had multiple times at lemonade in los angeles this summer. theirs was pineappleish and coconuty with some green beans scattered within, but when you zoomed out the main takeaway was that it was crunchy, salty, sweet, and vegetabley. so good. so while my version is sweetened with honey, flavored with a variation of mum's magic sesame sauce, and greened up with broccoli rabe, all of the elements i loved about that lemonade salad are there. yeah, it's essentially fancy chicken nuggets cut up and tossed with sautéed broccoli rabe. and yeah, it is perfect either hot or cold. so make some for supper and then pack the leftovers for lunch!
Garlic Sesame Broccoli Rabe with Panko Crusted Chicken
makes 4 servings
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey mustard
3/4 tsp kosher salt
10 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
Salt, to taste
10 oz broccoli rabe, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 tb flavorless oil, like canola
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tb soy sauce
1 tb sesame oil
1 tb honey
2 tb tahini
a pinch of crushed red pepper
Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and submerge the chicken. Cover and let marinate for 5 minutes at room temperature.
In a separate dish, mix together the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, the bread crumbs, and the toasted sesame seeds. When the chicken is done marinating, using tongs, work a few strips at a time to transfer it to the bread crumb mixture. Coat all sides of the chicken in the bread crumbs, and then transfer it to the baking sheet.
Lightly spray the tops of the chicken strips with cooking spray and then bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through.
Let cool slightly and then chop into 1-inch pieces.
While the chicken is baking, prepare the broccoli rabe. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli rabe. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then drain, rinsing under cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat the broccoli rabe dry.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, and then add the broccoli rabe with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for 5 more minutes. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
Place the broccoli rabe and chicken in a large bowl and drizzle on the dressing. Toss to coat. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!
thank you, andy boy broccoli rabe, for sponsoring this post!