Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beautiful Leafy Greens

We have the most beautiful mustard greens right now. I just couldn't resist cooking some up right after harvest. Granted, the recipe below degrades their bright colors and different textures but the result is melt in your mouth greens. I am a huge proponent of leafy greens because their nutritional value is staggering....staggering! So, eat your greens! Just in case you are unfamiliar with eating and/or cooking these leafy gems I've thrown in my favorite way to eat kale too.

Spicy Mustard Greens with Cumin
Peter Berly - The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen

This is a true culinary jewel. I am always stunned by the effect that these slow cooked, mouth–watering tender greens have on my guests.

2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped, or ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
2 large bunch mustard greens (about 1.5-2 pounds), chopped into bite-size pieces
Cider vinegar
Coarse sea salt
Freshly milled black pepper

  1. In a large pot over medium heat,warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and cumin and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the mustard greens and raise the heat. Stir until the greens wilt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, until the greens are meltingly tender.
  2. Season with vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Steamed Kale with Olive Oil Drizzle

1 bunch kale
sea salt
olive oil

1. Set up a steaming basket. Place and inch of water in a pot with a steaming basket on top and crank up the heat.

2. Remove the midribs from the leaf. The fastest way to do this is to place your fore finger and thumb at the base of the leaf gently grasping the midrib (fibrous stem-like thing running down the middle of the leaf). Next drag your fingers up the midrib pulling the leaf off.

3. Stack the leaves and roll them up into a cigar and then cut across the cigar (shortwise) to make inch wide strips.

4. When the water is boiling, place the kale in the pot. Toss around the leaves a bit with tongs and then put the lid on. Steam the kale until desired tenderness. This will not take more than a few minutes.

5. Move the steamed kale into a bowl and toss with salt and drizzle with olive oil. I like the kale to be lightly coated with olive oil but not drowning in it. The flavor of the olive oil really enhances the flavor of the kale - so don't be shy.

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