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.

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Emily Ryan For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

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

Serv­ings: 4

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

1 pound white, red or rain­bow chard, washed and trimmed

2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

2 shal­lots

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

IN­STRUC­TIONS

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!

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

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

1 egg

IN­STRUC­TIONS

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

Dress­ing:

½ cup olive oil

3 ta­ble­spoons fresh lemon juice

½ tea­spoon Di­jon mus­tard

½ tea­spoon grated lemon peel

Salt and pep­per to taste

IN­STRUC­TIONS

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

PHOTO BY EMILY RYAN

At Vollmecke Or­chards & CSA in West Brandy­wine, choose from bags of freshly picked let­tuce and kale.

PHOTO BY EMILY RYAN

Chard grows at Spring­ton Manor Farm in Glen­moore.

PHOTO BY EMILY RYAN

Rain­bow Swiss chard fills a colan­der.

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