Let's cook: greens

Reply Sun 9 Jun, 2013 09:06 pm
I've been experimenting with greens.

Last week I cooked mustard greens + chard and they were wonderful. We could have eaten twice as much as I cooked.

This week I cooked some red kale, green kale + collard greens and they were tough and chewy and not very good. I ended up putting some in the compost.

I used the same basic recipe: saute some onion and garlic in a bit of bacon fat, add the greens, add some chicken stock, let them cook down, taste, season, taste, season, etc.

It's kind of hard to find enough to make a few servings without mixing them up so I've been combining different types. Maybe that's my mistake. Maybe my recipe is a mistake. Maybe I didn't cook them long enough. Maybe something else was my mistake.

I would like to add greens to my diet but I don't want them to turn out the way they did this week.

Hit me with your greens advice.

What kind do you like?

How do you cook them?

Where do you think I went wrong?

Reply Sun 9 Jun, 2013 10:16 pm
Nobody here cooks greens?

I guess I should believe it. I'm from the south and I've never cooked them until now.


They're seriously good when you do it right. They're okayish when you do it wrong.

You should try them because I hear that they're really good for you.

I was reading the other day that we've bred all of the nutrients out of popular vegetables (like corn and tomatoes and peas and beans) but that the less popular vegetables (the bitter ones like greens and cabbage and Brussels sprouts) still have lots of oomph.

I'm trying to find tasty foods that pack a punch.
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 02:08 pm
The only greens I have familiarity with are beet greens and dandelion greens. Not sure how either was prepared as they were done by my mother and she's been most sincerely dead for a long while so I can't ask her.

As far as kale, I recalled ossobuco mentioning cooking it a number of times so she may be a good start for you.

Sorry I can't be of more help on this.
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Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 02:47 pm
I make some greens every week. Sometimes I just simmer them down to not entirely limp, cool, and freeze for using in ricotta tortes (which cooks another 45 minutes). In fact that's what I'm up to this afternoon - a mix of mustard greens and kale and garlic, egg, ricotta and herbs, and some bacon previously cooked and frozen, probably some chile powder or flakes (not overwhelming, just there) - all into an olive oil crust.

Otherwise I do similar to you, sometimes adding anchovies instead of salt. I use collards least since they show up in my market least. I love swiss chard, once used it in the gremolata that goes with osso buco instead of whatever the recipe called for. I've parboiled and refrigerator pickled the stems..but not routinely, I've got too many pickled things in my refrigerator.

I'm basically nuts for greens.

Oh, spinach - garlic and olive oil and whatever. Sometimes in butter and garlic, added to fresh hot pasta, a few tablespoons of ricotta stirred in.
Or, spinach with golden raisins... I'd have to look that one up, can't remember if the routine is butter or olive oil.


Well, I'll look up some more on that, as I'm remembering butter with raisins.

On the sauteing, I basically cook them until they taste good, which I guess varies.
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 03:04 pm
I made some bok choy last week, liked it, except the sauce recipe I picked was too strong for me re soy, etc.
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Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 03:04 pm
collards are good with a hamhock based "pot likker".
I was wsting time in the Augusta Ga aiport several years ago and went into the serving area (they werent open yet). I was watching a cook make some greens and she said that
1Collards is good all year, stem and all

2Kale is only good after frot and yq have to pull away the stem

3In all cases ya cook it all day in a pot likker and serve with corn bread

4 I had me a big ole serving (and she gave me more cause I guess I looked and sounded like like Antny Bourdain)

Seasonal greens are good. We also like dandelion and sorrel served with a sweet bacon dressing.

Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 03:44 pm
Oh, yeah, I miss sorrel. Used to grow it (talk about easy), and make a dandy sorrel potato soup (Jane Grigson's recipe from her vegetable book). I miss water cress - that makes a good soup too. Haven't eaten dandelion greens in years but remember liking them.

First time I simmered down kale, I continued to simmer the water after I took out the greens; the water had turned greenish, and had a bit of salt in it. That ended up being delicious by itself, amazingly delicious, and I put it in, yes, soup. (wash the greens first, for sure) Next time I simmered kale I tried that again, added too much salt and it tasted foul.

On the kale stems, I didn't know they somehow had to go walk - I always take the leaves off the stems before the simmering, but have that one time afterwards cooked the stems a bit and pickled them. Those were ok, but I'm lazy.
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Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 04:14 pm
Mr. M. loves greens:, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, etc. He loves collard greens cooked southern style, the way Farmerman described. He'll try greens cooked by any method.

He normally takes his lunch to work so he can try to eat healthier. After hearing so many good things about kale, I went on a search for recipes and came up with this one, using cabbage and kale. It's become a particular favourite of his.

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Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 05:26 pm
I love spinach. I often eat it raw in salad, or steamed, or sautéed. The bagged baby spinach leaves are great in almost any kind of salad.

I also love broccoli rabe (or rapini), and I have a recipe for that that's very similar to your spinach recipe with raisins and pine nuts.

Here's a very basic broccoli rabe recipe, but I'd use more garlic than this one calls for.

And I like this broccoli rabe recipe that adds caramelized onions

I generally par-boil my broccoli rabe before I sauté it, just to get some of the bitterness out, although I like the bitter vegetables.

And I like to mix broccoli rabe, after it's sautéed in garlic and olive oil, with some cooked pasta, and I'll toss in some halved cherry tomatoes, sometimes some cooked shrimp or cut up cooked chicken, and then I'll add a little more virgin olive oil, and toss it all together. I sprinkle it with grated Pecorino Romano cheese (fairly liberally) before serving it. I add all the other ingredients to the pan I've sautéed the broccoli rabe in, and add a little of the reserved cooking water that the pasta was boiled in--the pasta cooking water helps the garlic and oil and cheese to adhere to the pasta--and I warm the broccoli rabe mixed with the additional ingredients for about a minute or two so the flavors all come together.

Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 05:34 pm

Another oddly wonderful broccoli recipe is just to roast the flowerets with olive oil dribbles, preferably olive oil that has had a meeting with garlic. This works for cauliflower too. Watch it, both can get too done.

I haven't done that with broccoli rabe, but I think that would also work, maybe different timing.
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 05:48 pm
You've also made me think about adding some anchovies to my broccoli rabe pasta dish.

I just found out that broccoli rabe is called cime di rapa (literally meaning "turnip tops") in Italy, in Naples it is called friarielli, and in Portugal and Spain grelos.

It's a member of the mustard family, in the same sub-species as turnips. I never knew that. I just knew I liked it.

I'm learning all kinds of things today.
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 06:12 pm
I start slow re number of anchovies, being after a blend, not a bap in the head.
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 06:14 pm
I would do that also--for the same reason.

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Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 06:21 pm

Thank you Sturgis for giving my thread a bump and thank you everyone else for giving me your greens advice and recipes!

These all sound delicious.

I have nothing to add since I'm just getting into it and I don't think anyone would want to cook what I ended up with last night.

I've planted some mustard and kale in my garden this week in hopes of avoiding the prices at the farmer's market. I understand you can just keep cutting off the outer leaves so the same plants will take you through an entire season. Does anyone know if this is correct?
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Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 06:26 pm
I never grew them, so (duh on my part, but it sounds right).

On Grigson's sorrel soup, from an old post of mine:
(I figure this works for some fast cook vegetables)

OK! Grigson called it Margaret Costa's Green Soup -


from that post -----

from the unitynorthchurch website, instead of my copying my book -
(From Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book)

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
salt, pepper, grated nutmeg
pinch of sugar (optional)
2 handfuls of sorrel, washed and de-ribbed
Cook onion and potatoes in stock. Add seasonings. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are done. Puree the soup in the blender with the sorrel leaves, until smooth and bright green. Return to the pan and check seasonings. Do not boil the soup after the sorrel has been added - sorrel will become dark green and lose some of its flavor. This is the basic soup.

Toppings and Options:
You can add 1/4 cup of heavy (whipping) cream. Or a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream. Sprinkle with chives. Serve it hot or cold. It will thicken a bit when cold. Serve with bread cubes, croutons, or garlic toast.

(osso - I never added cream, etc.)
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Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 06:35 pm
Just made some for dinner tonight.

I got a bunch of mustard greens through my CSA, and a fellow CSA-er passed on his recipe, really good.

I changed it a bit, so this is a mixture of mine and his.

First I fried bacon in a large pan, 5 good-sized pieces.

When it was done, I removed and set aside.

Then put in an onion, chopped -- cook for about 5 minutes or until fairly softened.

Then add a clove or two of garlic (minced). Cook another 2-3 minutes.

Then add two cans of rinsed black beans (can be other kinds of beans) and salt and pepper to taste. I added some Cajun spice from Penzey's too.

Cook another couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, have the mustard greens ready. I used one large bunch, not really sure of the measurement. It filled a good-size salad bowl when chopped. (Washed it, got rid of the stems and cut out some of the bigger stems, then coarsely chopped.)

Layer the mustard greens over the bean mixture. Add about half a cup of water. Cook until wilted and tender, stirring frequently.

Serve with rice.

I also broke up the bacon pieces and sprinkled those over the top.

Very yummy.

It's the second time I've made it (first time without bacon), the mustard greens were slightly undercooked the first time and slightly overcooked this time, still good but they didn't have as strong of a taste (and I liked the stronger taste).
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 06:37 pm
Thanks, I'll remember this. (Have an excess of cooked navy beans as we speak)
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Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 07:10 pm
sozobe wrote:
I got a bunch of mustard greens through my CSA, and a fellow CSA-er passed on his recipe, really good.

CSA? As in Confederate States of America? I wasn't aware you'd moved.

Edit: Oh, community supported ariculture. The recipe does sound good. I'll try it tomorrow.
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Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 03:25 am
A good way of cooking sprouts is to parboil them, then stick them on a roasting tray, season with salt, pepper and a dab of butter, and stick them in a moderate oven for a few minutes.

Now when I cook sprouts they get eaten.
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Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 08:50 am
i cook glasses of potato
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