Friday, July 22, 2011

Sauteed Greens

Something that grows really well in Seattle is green things - lettuce, chard, kale, etc. We're starting to eat from the garden, and the other night we had a full colander of cherries from the tree out front, and from the garden we had radishes, a young walla walla (pulled it for thinning purposes) and lots of beautiful rainbow chard.  I wanted to share my favorite recipe for cooking chard and kale.  I prefer chard over other types of braising greens, but they can all be delicious prepared the right way. This is best cooked in a giant skillet - a wide one with high walls if you have it, and it must have a cover. A cast iron will work well too, as long as you have a cover for it. Also - I like to use carrots and a turnip to add a bit of substance. They're not necessary, but I think they add nice flavor. Radishes also work really well.

Ingredients: 1 yellow onion, 2 carrots, 1 turnip, 3-4 cloves garlic, 2 T olive oil, salt and pepper (sea salt is great if you have it), 1-2 bunches of greens

Directions:  The end goal of this step is to have all of the non-green items in the pan, but timing is semi-important. Since I like to saute the onion a bit, whereas the carrots and turnip I'm just trying to soften up, and the garlic I'm worried about burning, I usually follow this pattern: dice onions, then get the oil going while you peel and slice the carrot into smallish pieces, then add the onions to the pan and let them brown just a little. Peel and dice the turnip into 1/2 inch pieces while you do this, then I add the carrot and turnip, saute for just a few seconds in order to mix everything around, then put the cover on. Mince the garlic and set it aside.  Check on the sauteing/steaming items and stir them a bit.

Wash the greens thoroughly and chop into 3 inch trips.  I personally don't love the stalks, but many people do (like my boyfriend), so I usually cut the very bottom of the stock off and then chop the rest of it into little 1/2 inch pieces that I use.  When you're about ready to put the greens in, remove the lid, add the garlic, salt and pepper and stir the ingredients until while mixed.

Add the greens (as many as can fit), turn the heat up just a little bit and put the lid on.  Check every five minutes or so to stir the greens.  Once the greens have cooked down a little, add remaining greens. Continue to cook with the cover on until greens are like cooked spinach. Keep in mind that the greens will cook down a ton.  Once greens are cooked down, add more salt and pepper, stir, and serve!
Happy healthy eating!

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