Cast your vote: Elect to eat more leafy greens
Six simple ways to eat more greens This Tuesday, cast your vote for “The Greens Party” and elect to eat more leafy greens.
The first candidate: Swiss chard. Savor it in a creamy Parmesan gratin courtesy of The Kitchen Workshop in Paoli or enjoy chard with oranges, shallots and candied pecans.
The warm salad “makes a good side dish for a holiday dinner!” said Jill Ahern of Wolff’s Apple House, a farm market and garden center in Media. “The bright colors and candied pecans make it especially festive.”
She also bakes meatless “meatballs,” with chard and kale — the next green on the ballot.
“These are really good. You can just throw them in sauce. You know it’s not meat, but it has a similar texture, so it does the trick,” Ahern explained. “It’s great because you can use any greens you have on hand or a combination of them.”
Another possibility: mustard greens, whose slogan could be “time for a change.”
“It’s a hearty green,” described chef Michael Falcone of Heart Food Truck, who serves hungry customers at the Phoenixville Farmers’ Market. “Everyone’s ‘kale, kale, kale’ and has been for years, which is fine. There’s nothing wrong with kale, but it’s nice to try something different.”
He pairs sautéed mustard greens with “a pork, or a steak, or a salmon that can handle the bitterness of the greens.”
Other contenders include lettuce (aka “a name you know”), spinach, arugula, escarole, collards, beet and turnip greens.
“I tell people for something like kale or
collards, always strip it off the stem because sometimes people don’t know that,” reminded Ahern.
Also, try cooking the stems separately. And unless those greens are young and tender, she said, “I always blanch them first and then sauté them on really high heat with garlic and salt.”
Yes we can … eat more greens.
Chard with Oranges, Shallots, and Candied Pecans
A colorful, warm salad with a tangy sweet-sour flavor
1 pound white, red or rainbow chard, washed and trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 small unpeeled orange or tangerine, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup candied pecans
Cut the stems out of the chard leaves. Cut leaves into wide ribbons and slice the stems (on the diagonal if you like); keep the leaves and stems separate.
Put the oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and sugar and cook for a minute, then stir in the orange or tangerine bits and lower the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until everything is caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.
Return the heat to medium and stir in the chard stems. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften a bit, just a minute or 2. Add the chard ribbons, cover and turn off the heat. Let the chard steam for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir and re-cover the pan for another couple of minutes. Sprinkle with salt, lots of pepper, the candied pecans and serve immediately.
RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF CHARLES SMITH, WOLFF’S APPLE HOUSE
Baked Meatless “Meatballs”
These vegetarian “meatballs” are packed with greens — any greens you like. Use one kind only or mix and match. They work with traditional spaghetti and sauce, or try them simmered in a curry sauce over rice. Or just pop them in your mouth as a healthy snack!
1 large bunch fresh greens (at least ½ pound): kale, chard, beet greens, spinach, etc.
½ cup basil, cilantro or parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cup breadcrumbs
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove stems from greens. Combine greens and herbs in a food processor and pulse several times, until pieces are very small but not puréed.
Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat and add onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook for a minute more. Add the greens and herb mixture and sauté for 2 minutes or until wilted. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add the breadcrumbs and feta cheese. Mix well and taste to adjust seasoning, and then mix in the egg.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place on the parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
RECIPE COURTESY OF WOLFF’S APPLE HOUSE
Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette INGREDIENTS
1 bunch kale, de-ribbed and chopped fine
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
¼ cup shaved Parmesan
1/3 cup dried cranberries
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon grated lemon peel
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour 1/3 of dressing over kale and gently massage into chopped kale for 2 to 3 minutes. Add pecans, Parmesan and cranberries. Mix in remaining dressing and toss thoroughly. Let sit for one hour.
RECIPE COURTESY OF GREENER PARTNERS
At Vollmecke Orchards & CSA in West Brandywine, choose from bags of freshly picked lettuce and kale.
Chard grows at Springton Manor Farm in Glenmoore.
Rainbow Swiss chard fills a colander.