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Apr 8, 2012 04:40 PM

Recipes for Greens

I've got 2 small children and a not-too-picky husband. As part of our "less-meat" lifestyle, we already eat a lot of vegetables. But greens are SO easy to grow and SO nutritious, I feel like a fool that we never eat them. Why not? I've never found a recipe that anyone in my family really enjoys. So give them to me here.... A fantastic recipe, a revolutionary technique, a newby introduction. How do I get my family eating and enjoying their greens? Turnip greens, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, whatever you've got.

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  1. I like spinach and mustard greens. I fix them one of two ways: in a bean or other chicken based soup or braised. If I put then in a soup, I add them at the last. I like the greens to have a bit of their color left when I serve them. For braising, I simply sautee onion and garlic in olive oil and add the chopped greens to the pan, turning them in the oil and onion, and then add some chicken broth. I then cook on medium heat until I they are ready to eat. I add some grated cheese, some bacon bits, or toasted sunflower seeds or chopped almonds. I also like to spoon some canned chopped tomato in the mix shortly before serving.

    I had almost forgotten: I like spinach or a mix of spinach and mustard greens mixed with cooked lentils. I cook the lentils in chicken broth. When they are almost done, I sautee the onion and garlic as above. I add the greens to the pot (there should be a little oil in the pot) and roll them around to wilt and cook them. I then spoon the cooked lentils into the cooked greens, mixing lightly. You can add a few chopped canned tomatoes to this as well. Serve with hot sauce. I like the black lentils the best with this dish.

    1. Saute a couple of minced cloves of garlic in a few T olive oil. Add about a cup or cup and a half of basmati rice and stir to coat. Pour in about 1/4 cup vermouth or white wine. Stir until rice absorbs this, then add 10-16 oz chopped greens (any kind!). Pour in just enough chicken broth to cook the rice, put a lid on the pot and simmer 15 minutes or so. Check to see if rice is tender, or if you need more broth. When rice is done, add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan and maybe some salt if it needs it.

      We also like to blanch greens until tender, then saute them with garlic and oil, and put a poached or fried egg on top for an easy weeknight dinner. Serve with crusty bread.

        1. Soup: sausage, white beans, kale, leeks or onion, broth.
          Greens cooked with a smoked turkey wing.

          1. A friend sent me what was more a description than a recipe (since he knows I know how to cook most things) for beans and polenta with greens. It's best done with braised black kale (cavolo nero or dragon kale are two of its other names). I do the braising as sueatmo does, except I use just water, or maybe water plus some white wine or lemon, since Mrs. O is off all meat products these days. The polenta does not have to be the pricy imported stuff: whole-grain corn grits (NOT hominy!) costs a lot less and will be fresher. This is cooked in the usual way (4-1 water to meal, pour into boiling salted water while stirring), and then when it's done you stir shredded fontina cheese into it. Beans are usually canellini, but any other kind will be good. You can spoon the polenta onto each plate and top with beans and kale, or kale and then beans, or have it however else you want it. My friend sometimes makes the polenta well ahead, and pours it onto a greased rimmed baking sheet and chills it, then cuts it into cakes and fries them to serve the kale and beans on. Left to my own devices (with only family present) I will often ladle beans into a bowl and add polenta and kale and stir it up while Mrs. O goes, "EEEeewwwww …"