Saturday, January 2, 2010

101 Ways with Greens (**Updated!**)

The list below was conceived after receiving a CSA share that consisted exclusively of various green, leafy vegetables. The ideas/recipes below are intended to help give anyone looking for inspiration some new ways to prepare these bounteous vegetables. Some things I had in mind as I was compiling and updating the list:

  • I have not included any recipes for salad greens primarily because I don’t think people have too much trouble coming up with what to do with them (greens + veggies/fruit + nuts/cheese + dressing = salad), and have instead focused on the other leafy vegetables we often get.
  • By-and-large, I have also not included recipes for stir-fries or soups unless they struck me as somewhat unique, primarily because soups and stir-fries are standard fare that just about everyone has in their repertoire already when it comes to these veggies. As a result, I have also not included recipes exclusively for bok choy or cabbage.
  • While some of the recipes below call for spinach, I attempted to locate recipes that did not (but keep in mind that any recipe that calls for spinach can safely substitute any of the “mild” greens, and sometimes even “bitter” greens or kale).
  • This list is organized by type of green most suitable for the dish, but you can also often mix different kinds together or experiment by swapping something completely different altogether.
    K = Kale: There are several types of kale, all of which are primarily interchangeable, and some recipes in this category may also be suited to Collard Greens since they are sturdy like Kale
    B = Bitter Greens: Mustard greens, Turnip greens, Radish greens, Rapini/Broccoli Rabe, Arugula/Rocket (though it is recommended to include this only in part), Dandelion greens, Sorrel, Endive/Chicory, Watercress, Escarole, Quelites/Lamb’s Quarters, Nettles
    M = Mild Greens: Spinach, Swiss Chard, Beet greens, Amaranth, Tat soi, Kohlrabi greens
1Ugali and Sukuma (Kenyan grits and greens)KBM
2Greens prepared as for Sukuma served over mashed beans, potatoes or sweet potatoesKBM
3Good ol'fashioned greens and salt pork with or without cornmeal dumplings (can also be prepared with bacon or ham hock)BM
4Korean style greens (blanched and tossed with garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sesame seeds, served warm or cold)BM
5Cooked or raw as a filling for sushi (plain or seasoned as above)KBM
6As an addition to Egg Foo YungKBM
7Gormeh Sabzi (Persian vegetable stew with beans and lamb)KBM
8Pesto-style Pizza/Pasta sauceBM
9Pumpkin-Greens Pasta sauceBM
10Saag Paneer (Indian style curried greens with cottage cheese)BM
11Middle Eastern Greens SoupBM
12Crispy sweet and salty Kale chips; for variety, slice into wide ribbons before baking or crumble on top of soup, pasta, etc.K
13Batter-fried kaleK
14Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan-style potato-kale soup; sub garbanzos for a vegetarian version, but be sure to add some crushed fennel seeds for extra flavor!)KBM
15Minestrone SoupKBM
16Braised Greens with Pinenuts and RaisinsKM
17Braised Greens with Bulgur and Dates (or substitute quinoa and other dried fruit like cranberries or apricots)KM
18As part of a quiche or frittata (or try this variation for something different)KBM
19Stir-fried with sesame oil, lots of ginger and garlic, and sweet soy sauce or oyster sauceKBM
20Braised or blanched and served over soba noodles with Thai peanut sauceKBM
21Butternut Squash and Kale TartKM
22Kale and Ricotta Salad (or sub feta for ricotta salata)K
23Kale with Shrimp and Pomegranate PastaKM
24Sauté greens with onion and ham/bacon, stir in some sour cream and mustard and spoon over poached eggs & toast, pasta, rice or potatoesKBM
25Stracciatella (Italian greens and egg soup)BM
26Creamed greensKBM
27Mchicha (East African stewed greens with curry, coconut milk and peanut butter)KBM
28Baked into a Collard Greens CakeM
29Thai-style greens in coconut milk (sub shrimp, crab or tofu for eggs) or coconut milk soupKBM
30In Miso Soup (with tofu and shitakes)KBM
31Braised with chiles, garlic and cumin as a filling for tacos, enchiladas or burritos (coupled with sweet potatoes and beans or zucchini for a lighter version)KBM
32Braised with mushrooms or toasted nuts, dill weed, lemon zest and garlic or leek as a filling for baked chicken or fish filletsKBM
33Greens PattiesKBM
34Green crepes (add finely minced cooked greens to crepe batter and fill with mushroom, seafood, or other filling)KBM
35Koftas (Indian fried "meatballs")KBM
36Mixed into meatloaf with feta and sun-dried tomatoesKBM
37Chopped, sautéed and mixed with bacon and crushed red pepper into cornbread batterKBM
38Sautéed with lemon, basil, garlic and butternut squash over pasta, topped with romano or fetaKBM
39Blanched and tossed with carrots and radiccio and honey vinaigretteKBM
40Sautéed and tossed with spaghetti squash, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese OR tossed with spaghetti squash, bacon, sunflower seeds and vinaigrette, served cold or warmKBM
41Pickled or fermented as a condiment for curries and other Southeast Asian foodsKBM
42Raw greens, chopped, tossed with garlic mayonnaiseKBM
43Shredded with carrots, potatoes, rutabagas or other veggies, mixed with egg and bread crumbs for veggie pancakesKBM
44Sautéed with beans and lots of garlic (easily made into a soup)KBM
45Finely minced with beans and seasonings for bruschetta/relishKBM
46Made into pesto and mixed with mayonnaise for sandwich spreadBM
47Chopped and added (cooked or raw) to tuna or chicken saladKBM
48Large leaves can be blanched or steamed and stuffed as for cabbage rolls, spring rolls, dolmas etc. (best with chard, collards, kale)KBM
49In French-style lamb stew with turnips and carrotsKBM
50Braised with lots of garlic, olive oil, lemon, mint and garbanzo, fava or navy beans and served over cous-cous or polentaKBM
51Stewed with turnips and Indian-style spicesKBM
52Mustard greens slaw with cabbage and vinaigretteKBM
53Chopped and cooked and mixed with mashed potatoes, sharp cheddar cheese and garlic or chivesKBM
54Pureed with garlic, onions, potatoes and zucchini into a creamy green soupKBM
55Dutch-style hashed kale with potatoes and sausageKBM
56Cheese-Egg-Greens mixture layered with phyllo sheets like lasagneBM
57Stuffed into wraps or "Skinny Omelets"KBM
58Spanish style tortilla with potatoes and greensKBM
59Kugel-style with pasta and eggs (but I would put cottage cheese in it too!)KBM
60Hazelnut and Chard Ravioli SaladKM
61Mixed with Pancetta or Bacon and used as a stuffing for mushroomsKBM
62Pizzocheri (traditionally made with cabbage, can also be tasty made with leafy greens)KBM
63Herb Jam with Olives and LemonKBM
64Rapini Panini with provolone and red pepper pasteKBM
65Corn, Chard, and Quince Soup (substitute apples or pears for the quince)KBM
66Greens with Sour CherriesKBM
67Blanched Greens with Lemon and Olive Oil (served cold)KBM
68Braised Greens with Red WineKBM
69Greek Greens Pie (similar to Spanikopita)KBM
70Stewed with Mushrooms and Pancetta, served over PolentaKBM
71Gratin with vegan Bechamel Sauce or with Kale, or with Sweet PotatoesKBM
72Empanadas filled with beets, goat cheese and greensKBM
73Greens, Cheese & Wheat Berry PieKBM
74Kale with Hazelnut GremolataKB
75Eggs Florentine (substitute Chard, Arugula, or other greens for the spinach or make it into a casserole)KBM
76In BouillabaseKBM
77Toss washed, slivered greens with minced garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper--especially good with young (tender) KaleKBM
78Pork and Pumpkin Stew with GreensKBM
79Spicy Stir-Fried Chicken with Greens and PeanutsKBM
80Greens Soup with GingerKBM
81Arugula Pesto with Wheat BerriesKBM
82Ali Baba's Muffins (a savory treat using stinging nettles which are easily substituted by other greens)KBM
83Greek style chard fritters with cinnamon (Scroll down to find recipe)KBM
84Greens and Artichoke StewKBM
85Greens and Gruyere Panade (similar to bread stuffing)KBM
86Creamy Sorrel Sauce for topping meat, seafood or vegies) (scroll down)B
87Greens and Goat Cheese Egg Tart (scroll down)KBM
88Cold Sorrel SoupBM
89Curried Red Lentil, Garbanzo Bean and Greens Stew or this version with sweet potatoesKBM
90Green gnocchi with greensBM
91Honey-Curried Kale and OnionsK
92Ragout with Pumpkin, Beans and KaleKBM
93Egg Strata of Cornbread and GreensKBM
94Creamed eggs (or tofu) with greensBM
95Savory bread pudding with squash and greensKBM
96Braised greens with lime, dill and beansKBM
97Baked with pasta, squash, and olivesKBM
98In regular or barley or squash or shitake risottoKBM
99Sautéed with potatoes and bleu cheeseKBM
100Sautéed with grapefruit vinaigrette and figsKBM
101Raw greens and cranberries turn into a fascinating “Santa SalsaM

Tips for cooking with greens:

  • More often than not, or unless you’re cooking greens until they fall apart, it’s better to err on the side of chopping/slicing the greens thinly. The more work the knife does, the less your teeth have to!
  • To remove the stems from greens like chard, kale or collards, two methods work the best:
  1. Fold the leaf along the rib/stem and carefully slice the rib out.
  2. Hold the leaf by the rib/stem and with a sharp paring knife held flat along the stem, cut the leaf away from the stem (similar to a “whittling” action as if you’re sharpening a stick with a knife)
  • To keep greens vibrant in color, do not overcook, and it also helps to add a pinch of baking soda while cooking.
  • If you cook in cast iron, be aware that the oxalic acid in the greens will react with the iron and may turn your greens a darker than desirable color; it can also make them a bit more bitter, so the best solution is a hot pan and a quick sauté whenever possible.
  • If your greens are extra bitter to begin with, you can blanch them in salted water, drain, rinse and gently squeeze to expel the water before you prepare it as directed in the recipe.
  • Young, tender greens are better suited to raw or lightly-cooked uses and stems can also be eaten. Larger stems should be removed and either discarded or cooked separately (a longer time is needed to make them tender, but beware some stems are simply too woody/fibrous to be eaten at all)
  • Collard greens, kale and other sturdy varieties hold up well to long cooking times, and if they’re particularly mature may require extensive simmering.
  • If baking with greens (casseroles, lasagna, bread, etc) it’s usually recommended to cook them first and squeeze as much liquid out as you can, otherwise it can affect the consistency of the final product.

Washing and Storing:

  • It is recommended NOT to wash greens before storing them as it contributes to quicker spoilage and vitamin loss. I have read, however, that you can add a capful of hydrogen peroxide to your wash basin to help offset this.
  • The best method for washing greens is to fill your sink with water and soak the leaves briefly. Make sure they are separated from each other as much as possible, not all bunched together, and swish them around gently to loosen any dirt, etc. Some greens may take two or more washings depending on the amount of dirt. If there are a lot of bugs/aphids, sometimes the sink sprayer is a good tool to use, but be careful not to bruise your greens.
  • Store greens in plastic bags, loosely sealed, or in fabric bags. If washing greens (including salad greens) or using them raw, wash the greens in clear water and use a fabric bag (a cotton pillowcase works well) to “drain” them: load up the bag with loosely packed greens and take it outside and spin it or “fling” it rapidly so as to drive the water off of the leaves. This is a great substitute for a salad spinner and takes up virtually no room in your cupboards! Then you can use the same bag for storing them. If you keep the bag damp, the greens will last a long time; I use a terrycloth bag as it retains moisture longer. This method works for fresh herbs as well.

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