Monday, April 25, 2011

Wilted Greens 2 Ways

I love mixing up my cooking greens in a couple different ways. One thing I like to do is a wilted greens salad. For this, I use a mix of both salad greens and young cooking greens like chard or spinach. I like the leaves to be pretty small. This works great with baby bok choy, tat soy, chard and baby spinach. I think it would also be fine with baby mizuna. What I do is pour some olive oil in a skillet and heat it until it sheets. Add some chopped green garlic or pressed garlic cloves. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are browned but there is still some of their liquid in the pan. Wash and mix the greens and put them in a bowl. Add some balsamic vinegar to the pan and heat it up. Add a little more oil to make a dressing. Pour the entire contents of the skillet over the greens and toss to lightly wilt and dress the greens. Add some grated cheese to the top. If you have roasted beets, they're great in this salad as well.

For more bitter greens like wild mustard, wild radish or Italian rapini, I like to wilt them a bit more and add a vinegar while hot. This is more of a traditional Mediterranean side dish. The recipe below is posted on Epicurious and comes from Gourmet Magazine.

Wilted Mixed Greens
Gourmet, May 2003
There is a tradition in Crete of gathering wild greens and using them not only in vegetable or salad dishes but also as stuffings for savory turnovers. Cretans make use of tiny leeks, wild fennel, purslane, and milkwort, as well as the more familiar greens. We have substituted a mixture of the varieties of tender greens available at most supermarkets. You can even use prepackaged mixes, such as baby Asian salad or baby braising mix.
Yield: Serves 4 (as part of mezedes)

1 1/2 pound mixed tender or baby greens such as young chard, kale, mustard greens, spinach, beet greens, dandelion, and arugula, coarse stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (20 cups)
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Cook greens in a 6- to 8-quart pot of , uncovered, until wilted and tender, about 3 minutes. Drain greens in a colander, then immediately plunge into a large bowl of very cold water to stop cooking. Once cooled, drain in colander, tossing occasionally, 1 hour.
Just before serving, whisk together vinegar, salt, and oil in a bowl until combined well. Add greens and toss to coat.

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