Northeast Times

Mixed greens madness!

The Kit­chen Diva by An­gela Shelf Medear­is

I’ve been los­ing my mind (and spend­ing way too much money) at the Farm­er’s Mar­ket.

The vast ar­ray of beau­ti­ful fruits and ve­get­ables over­whelms me every time. Last week, the bundles of Rain­bow Swiss chard with its col­or­ful stems and fan-like leaves were too tempt­ing to res­ist. The wa­ter­mel­on radishes, which look like a rose-colored pin­wheels in­side, also cap­tured my at­ten­tion.

I ori­gin­ally planned to cook the Swiss Chard with some smoke-roas­ted to­ma­toes and add the radishes to my coleslaw re­cipe. When it was time to pre­pare the greens, I de­cided to add a few cups of the leftover coleslaw ve­get­ables (without any dress­ing on them) in­to the pot, too. It’s won­der­ful!

You also can add in kale or spin­ach, with or in­stead of the cab­bage, if that’s what you have on hand.

Mix­ing fresh and frozen greens also works beau­ti­fully in this ver­sat­ile re­cipe.

I love adding oil-packed, sun-dried or smoke-roas­ted to­ma­toes to fin­ish the greens, but a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of lem­on peel also is tasty.

MIXED GREENS WITH GAR­LIC AND LEM­ON

1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil

2 large bunches Swiss chard (about 2 pounds total), cleaned, stemmed and chopped, stems re­served (see Tip be­low)

1 large yel­low onion, thinly sliced

1 large car­rot, chopped

2 cloves gar­lic, minced

1/2 tea­spoon red pep­per flakes

1/2 cup re­duced-so­di­um chick­en broth or wa­ter

1 tea­spoon re­duced-so­di­um soy sauce

1 small head green cab­bage, finely shred­ded

2 small wa­ter­mel­on radishes, chopped (op­tion­al)

1 tea­spoon finely grated lem­on zest

1 tea­spoon fresh lem­on juice

1 ta­ble­spoon seasoned rice wine vin­eg­ar

1 tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per

3 ta­ble­spoons chopped, sun-dried or smoke-roas­ted to­ma­toes and the oil

1. In a large non­stick skil­let or Dutch oven, heat the oil over me­di­um heat. Add the Swiss chard stems, onion and car­rot, and cook un­til the onion is trans­lu­cent and the stems soften, about 5 minutes. Add the gar­lic and red pep­per flakes and stir un­til gar­lic is fra­grant, about 1 minute. Add the broth or wa­ter and soy sauce, stir­ring to com­bine. In­crease heat to high and bring sauce to a boil.

2. De­crease the heat to me­di­um-low, add the Swiss chard, cab­bage and radishes, if de­sired, and toss to mix. Cov­er and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, un­til greens are tender. Stir in lem­on zest, lem­on juice, vin­eg­ar and black pep­per. Re­move from heat and serve with sun-dried or smoke-roas­ted to­ma­toes and a drizzle of the oil.

Makes 6 servings.

TIP: Store un­washed fresh greens in a plastic bag, re­mov­ing as much of the air from the bag as pos­sible, for up to 5 days. The longer they are stored, the more bit­ter the fla­vor be­comes.

Do not wash greens be­fore stor­ing be­cause ex­pos­ure to wa­ter en­cour­ages spoil­age.

To clean fresh greens, dis­card any leaves that are wil­ted, brown, yel­low­ing or dam­aged. Im­merse greens in a sink full of wa­ter and wash well to re­move sand, grit and any debris. Lift out, drain, rinse and re­peat un­til the wa­ter is clean.

To stem, make a V-shaped cut where the stem meets the leaf. Use the stems the way you would use cel­ery, and cook them with the onions.

Stack the leaves and coarsely chop them in­to 3- to 4-inch rib­bons, or roll sev­er­al leaves to­geth­er in­to a ci­gar shape and slice in­to thin rib­bons. 

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