Swiss Chard with Garlic, Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar
(serves 2 in 15 minutes)
This is a classic Italian dish is delicious, easy to prepare and makes a great accompaniment to pasta, baked potatoes, chicken or lamb.
1 bunch of fresh, tender swiss chard (green or red)
1 bunch of spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1) Thoroughly rinse the swiss chard and spinach under running water to remove all traces of dirt and debris, allowing any remaining water to cling to the leaves. Tear or cut horizontally into 4 or 5 inch strips, discarding the tough inner stalk of the swiss chard.
2) Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the garlic until it starts to turn golden.
3) Add the swiss chard first and cover with the spinach. Add the water, cover and steam for 5 minutes.
4) Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and toss the swiss chard again.
Cover for 1 or 2 more minutes, then serve.
Sauteed Mustard Greens and Spinach
(serves 1-2 in 15 minutes)
This is a variation of the traditional southern "mess of greens", where collards, kale and mustard greens are cooked for hours with lard and a ham hock. To reduce saturated fat and yet still preserve the richness and flavor the fat provides, garlic, onions and peppers are sauteed in olive oil and toasted pumpkin seeds add a bacon-like flavor. Enjoy!
1 bunch mustard greens (3/4-1 pound)
1 bunch spinach
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp. hot red pepper (optional) and 1/4 c. red bell pepper, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Tbsp. lemon mixed with 1 Tbsp. water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
toasted pumpkin seeds
Rinse the greens well, allowing water to cling to the leaves. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and saute the garlic, onion and red pepper until just starting to brown. Stuff in the mustard greens first and cover them with the spinach. Steam for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon water, add the salt and toss lightly. Steam another minute or two until cooked. Serve with the yogurt-mustard sauce and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds.
(makes 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
Blend all the ingredients briefly and serve over the hot greens.
Salad of Wild Greens with Dijon Vinaigrette
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch oak leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce or bib lettuce
handful of arugala or "rocket" lettuce,
handful of mizuna
handful of mache (or substitute sunflower sprouts)
1 "head" of belgian endive
chive or nasturtium flowers
toasted slivered almonds
Using whatever greens are available, according to your location and season, rinse and spin them dry in a salad spinner. Tear into bite-sized pieces. Cut the bottom off the belgian endive and use the tips to surround the serving plates. Toss the greens with 1 T. of the dijon vinaigrette per person.
Place the dressed greens in the center. Garnish with 1 T. toasted almonds per serving and the blossoms of any edible flowers available. Enjoy the simple splendor of this freshest of salads....