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Vegetables

Guide to Greens

The short version:

Stir-fry/steam with olive oil and garlic. For greens that can be eaten raw, add them to salads for variety and complex flavors (arugula, chicory, cabbage, young dandelion & mustard greens, watercress, spinach).

For those that need cooking, follow these simple directions:

  1. After washing, remove heavy stems/spines, slice
  2. Sauté chopped garlic in extra virgin olive oil until lightly browned, add greens. When moisture from oil is gone, add a little water and cover to steam until desired level of tenderness

The long version:

Greens and a variety of suggestions for their preparation and use, depending on the vegetable:

Arugula

  • Often sandy; wash well in cold water; Pat dry with paper towels. Wrap in damp paper towels and refrigerate in a plastic bag. Highly perishable,use within two days.
  • Use fresh as an accent to other salad greens;stir fry or saute, add to soups and pasta sauces.

Beet Greens

  • After buying whole beets, cut off the tops. Wash greens well with cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Place in a plastic bag lined with paper towels; refrigerate for up to three days.
  • Good in soups or stir-fry recipes or gently stewed.

Broccoli Rabe

  • Florets should be closed and green with as few yellow flowers as possible. Select thin stalks. Store in a loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
  • Boil, steam, or stir-fry broccoli rabe until crisp-tender.

Chicory (curly endive)

  • Wash well in cold water to remove dirt. Pat dry with paper towels. Wrap in damp paper towels and refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 2 days.
  • Combine with milder-tasting lettuces in fresh salads, serve warm in wilted salads,or cook in soups or pasta sauces.

Collard Greens

  • Wash in cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Wrap in damp paper towels and refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 5 days. Best if blanched first to reduce bitterness.
  • Typically braised, added to soups or stir-fry recipes.

Cabbage

  • Slice, shred or grate cabbage.
  • Use grated in coleslaw; goes well with a variety of foods, including pineapple, raisins, carrots, kidney beans, grapes or on its own with mustard, dill or garlic.

Brussel Sprouts

  • Drop sprouts into basin of warm water for10 minutes. Rinse, cut an "x" in the base of each sprout. Cook till just tender.
  • Steam, boil or microwave.

Dandelion

  • Very sandy. Wash well in cold water just before using; pat dry with paper towels. Store in a plastic bag up to 2 days.
  • Use young, tender leaves raw in salads. Steam or sauté older leaves.

Kale and Flowering Kale

  • Wash in cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Wrapin damp paper towels and refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 3 days. Both kale and flowering kale need longer cooking to tenderize.
  • Good in soup, stir-fry recipes, and sauces. Flowering kale is also used as a garnish. Mustard

Greens

  • Wash in cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Wrap in damp paper towels and refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 5 days. Use young, tender greens raw in salads.
  • Good for stir-fry recipes and soups.

Swiss Chard

  • Wash in cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Wrapin damp paper towels and refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 3 days.
  • Use leaves raw in salads. Sliced stems can be added to soups & stews. Both leaves & stems can be used in stir-fry recipes or cooked as a side dish.

Watercress

  • Very perishable. Wrap in damp paper towels and refrigerate in a plastic bag for 1 to 2 days.
  • Serve raw in salads, sandwiches or as a garnish. Steam for a side dish; add to soups.

Cauliflower

  • Loses B vitamins if cooked too long! Use vitamin rich cooking water in other recipes. Add lemon juice to keep its color while cooking.
  • May be eaten raw or cooked until crisp-tender,by steaming, microwave or sautéing.

Adapted from original material by Penny Rosenfeld

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