I may have gotten a little carried away with the kale. And the China choy Chinese cabbage. And the swiss chard. What on earth will I do with 13 kale plants in my garden? At least the Chinese cabbage grows quickly so I feel less guilty eating the entire plant at once. Just don’t remind Peter that there are also tons of beet greens too, because after over a week of eating greens almost every day, he may be ready to “accidentally” leave the garden fence open and let the bunnies have a holiday. All of this is just to say that help is always appreciated in the eating greens department.
Here are some recipes for using up lots of leafy greens. Many of them are untested, so if you get the chance to try them, let me know. Or, if you have a brilliant idea of your own for transporting massive amounts of leafy greens into tummies, don’t keep it to yourself.
1.) Spinach with olive oil, garlic, and lemon: Saute spinach (with water from washing still clinging to the leaves) in a bit of butter for ~10 min or so on med-low heat until cooked down completely. Remove it to a serving dish and squeeze a little lemon juice over it. In the pan, heat olive oil and garlic for a few min, until the garlic browns (but doesn’t burn). Pour the olive oil and garlic over the spinach. Whenever I make this I always think the 2 T. olive oil called for is too much, but it’s so delicious! It also takes away that weird filmy feeling on ones teeth after eating spinach. Salt and pepper to taste, of course. Recipe from In Late Winter We Ate Pears.
2.) Potatoes with spiced spinach (but couldn’t one use sweet potatoes here? or some other root veggie?). This recipe calls for yogurt, but perhaps coconut milk would do? The recipe for this in my Indian cookbook calls for only 3 T of cream, so perhaps you could also get away with a less creamy mixture in general? Also, now that I think of it, a mixture of coconut milk, sweet potatoes, and spinach sounds really good.
4.) Wilted spinach salad with caramelized onions and bacon: caramelize onions until sweet and golden, then put the washed spinach only briefly in the pan with the onions until a few leaves are wilted (literally seconds), then put onions and spinach into a bowl, sprinkle with pieces of bacon, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or perhaps red wine vinegar?). This salad is great with a sprinkle of salty cheese, and doing a quick google, someone suggested putting a hard-boiled egg on top (in slices). This is a great way to have an interesting spinach salad and a great balance of sweet from the onions, salty from the bacon, and sour from the vinegar. This also makes me think that more bitter greens might do well just sauteed or steamed until nice and soft and served with caramelized onions and bacon (and maybe a pat of butter for good measure).
5.) Greens mixed with other veggies: Saute kale until soft and mix with cooked corn (or add raw corn to the pan and mix with the greens, cooking until soft); good with garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil for seasoning. Or kale with roasted peppers and olives.
6.) Minestrone soup with greens: you can even leave out the noodles (my least favorite part anyways) and just call it vegetable soup. Greens in soup with other veggies, especially the tomato-broth based soups, is one of my favorite things. One of my favorite lentil soup recipes call for chopped up swiss chard added at the end — just eat the soup as soon as the swiss chard is tender (while not the recipe I use per se, here’s one example of lentil soup with swiss chard).
8.) Quiche: I usually make my quiches without a crust (laziness is a huge factor). In a related direction, there’s always a frittata. It must also be said that sauteed greens in scrambled eggs is delicious, especially swiss chard or spinach. Also, I should say that I never make quiche with cream or cream cheese as in the recipe I linked to, but usually use plain milk. And finally, wouldn’t bacon be good in this too???
9.) Greens with garlic, soy sauce, and brown sugar: while this may seem strange because of the sugar, the sweetness wonderfully balances the salty soy sauce. Begin by sauteing some garlic in olive oil in a pot. You can add an onion to this too, although you’ll want to saute it a bit before adding the garlic. Then add the greens to the garlic and olive oil and cook until nice and soft. Depending on the green, you may want to add a tid bit of water to help things steam. Once the greens are pretty much done, add a generous splash of soy sauce (I use low-sodium soy sauce and don’t shy away from salt in the first place) and between one teaspoon and one tablespoon of brown sugar. Mix the greens with the sugar and soy sauce and cook another minute or two. This is especially good eaten over rice because the salty-sweet juices flavor the rice too.
10.) And finally, how about braised chicken with kale.