Giada did Wilted Greens last week, and it got me thinking about different ways to cook these Great Greens. They seem to benefit considerably from Asian style seasonings, as well as Italian style sautéeing with plenty of garlic and garnished with cheese.
The list of nutritional benefits of kale and Swiss chard and other greens is long, but don't let that stop you from enjoying them. Blanching or steaming them before sautéeing makes them more tender and easier for first timers to appreciate. They cook down substantially, so allow 1 big bunch for 2 people.
Kale with Garlic and Ginger (serves 4)
There are 2 methods for this recipe. The first is to cook the kale first and THEN sauté. The second is to skip to precooking. This gives you a stronger, heartier flavor.
2 tsps. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger
2 bunches kale, washed, large stems removed
water as needed
1 tbl. soy sauce or tamari
1 tbl. sesame seeds
1 tsp. sesame oil
Cook kale in boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Chop. Place olive oil, garlic and ginger in cold sauté pan. Cook on medium low heat until garlic just begins to brown. Add the chopped kale and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water by the teaspoonfuls if kale is sticking. Stir in soy sauce or tamari, sesame seeds and sesame oil and cook until hot. Serve at once.
Rinse kale well and chop. Place olive oil, garlic and ginger in cold sauté pan. Cook on medium heat until garlic just begins to brown. Add the chopped kale (it should have plenty of water clinging to it) and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water by spoonfuls as necessary (and it will be) to keep kale from sticking. Stir in soy sauce or tamari, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Serve at once.
Mixed Greens with Cumin and Paprika (serves 4)
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone by Deborah Madison
12 cups mixed greens - use a mixture of chard, kale, escarole, broccoli rabe, beet or mustard greens
3 tbls. olive oil
3 garlic cloves
2 tsps. paprika
1 tbl. cumin
2 cup finely chopped parsley and/or cilantro
Garnish: lemon and tomato wedges
Remove all heavy stems from greens. Cook greens, uncovered, in large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander. Chop into one inch pieces.
Place the oil in a large sauté pan with garlic, paprika and cumin. Heat over lowest possible until mixture is fragrant. Do not allow to burn. Add the greens, raise heat to medium and sauté until heated through. Stir in parsley and cilantro and cook for one minute. Remove from heat. Taste for seasoning. Serve at once garnished with lemon and tomato wedges.
Broccoli Rabe Italian Style (serves 3 to 4)
2 lbs. broccoli rabe
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbls. extra-virgin olive oil
6 – 8 tbls. parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Garnish: lemon wedges
Cut off about 1 inch of the long stems of broccoli rabe. Cook, uncovered, in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until just tender.
Heat olive oil and garlic together in large sauté pan for about 1 minute. Add broccoli rabe and cook over medium hight heat, until hot, about 5 minutes. Take off heat. Toss with cheese. Taste for seasoning and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve at once.