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from the farm stand: greens two ways

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
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Eat your greens. We’ve all heard that in our life time more than once. I wondered though, how was I supposed to eat my greens? I like lettuce and love spinach, but what about those other greens that pack a nutritional punch? Do I eat them raw or cooked? And some of them are so bitter I can’t take it. Here are two recipes that should help you if you have any of the questions that I had.

For the first recipe I used kale and greens from the tops of the radishes I picked up at the farmers market. I have started to appreciate and like kale in the past year, but  I won’t be using radish greens again because they are too bitter for me. Lemons are a very common acid used in dressing salads and greens, but I was bored with that and tried using freshly squeezed orange juice over steamed greens and I LOVED it.

One note though, not all kales are created equal, I eat green leaf kale or red leaf kale. I’m not partial to lacinato kale (aka dinosaur kale) as I find it a bit bitter. If you are interested in the nutritional benefits of kale click here.

Steamed Greens with Orange Dressing
these measurements are dependent on how many greens you use and how much dressing you add

3 stalks of kale with stalks removed
3 stalks of radish greens with stalks removed (feel free to omit and double the kale)
olive oil
half a small orange
salt and pepper
sliced almonds (optional)

In a small bowl squeeze the juice of half an orange, drizzle in olive oil to the consistancy and taste you prefer, add salt and pepper. Taste it because it should have a distinct sweet orange flavor. Steam the greens until slightly wilted. Drizzle the dressing over the greens and mix up. Don’t over dress the greens, you don’t want them oily. I tossed on sliced almonds for some crunch.

For the second recipe I used more kale and swiss chard from my dad’s garden. I like swiss chard and have found some of the crops from the garden to have a slighty salty taste. I sauteed these greens.

Sauteed Greens With Stock

3 stalks kale, stalkes removed
3 stalks chard, stalkes removed
1 smallish shallot or half an onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup stock
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
grated parmesan (optional)

Sautee shallots or onions over medium heat in olive oil for 5 minutes, add garlic and cook for another two minutes. While cooking onions, chop or tear apart your greens into smaller pieces, add to onions and garlic. After the greens start to wilt slightly start adding the stock. Don’t add it all at once, you may not need it all or you may need more. After the stock is absorbed add a little more. If your greens are not wilting down go ahead and put a lid on them at this point. They’ll slightly steam in the stock.

You can be the judge on how much stock is needed. You don’t want your greens to be liquidy, you just want the flavor of the stock to be absorbed. I added grated parm to mine for flavor. I think any cheese would be fine if you decide to add it too.

*I hope these two quick and easy recipes entice you to eat your greens. Remember when you cook greens they wilt down to 1/4 of their size, so always use more than you think you’ll need.

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