Cooking With Leafy Greens

Meet the antioxidant-rich leaf brigade—kale, mustard greens, dandelions and more. MOIRA HODGSON creates unfussy recipes that defeat the bitterness and bring out the best in these tangy vegetables

By Moira Hodgson
LEAVES RULE ~ Mirin, tamari sauce and lemon juice dress up this braised–bok choy dish.
Photograph: Anna Williams

BEET GREENS WITH ROASTED BEETS AND PUMPKIN SEEDS
BABY BOK CHOY WITH LEMON-PONZU SAUCE
PORTUGUESE-STYLE STEW OF CLAMS, PORK, KALE AND BEANS
SPICY DANDELION GREENS ON A BED OF CAULIFLOWER PUREE
AVOCADO SALAD WITH SLIVERED SCALLIONS AND SESAME-SOY DRESSING
MUSTARD GREENS WITH QUINOA
SAUTEED COLLARD GREENS WITH NEW POTATOES AND PANCETTA
Tuscan Kale and -Tomato Salad with Pine Nuts

 

BEET GREENS WITH ROASTED BEETS AND PUMPKIN SEEDS
Many people throw away the greens, not realizing how good they are. The beets are roasted in their skins (the best method, since it concentrates their flavor and brings out the sweetness). The skins are slipped off, and the beets are diced and placed on top of the sautéed greens. Austrian pumpkin-seed oil is wonderful in this dish.

Prep time: 23 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Makes 4 side or 3 main dishes

6 medium (not baby) beets with greens attached
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pumpkin-seed oil* or extra-virgin olive oil (or a mix of the two oils) for the dressing
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil for sautéing the greens
1 large shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted in a small skillet
Sea-salt flakes (preferably Maldon)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Snip the tails off the beets. Cut off the greens, and set them aside. Place the beets on a rack, and roast them in their skins until the largest ones are soft when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour (the time will vary with the size and type of beets).
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine the lemon juice and vinegars. Gradually add the pumpkin-seed oil and/or olive oil, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Tear the beet greens off the stalks, and cut them into wide strips. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet, and sauté the shallot until soft. Add the greens, and sauté them until they are wilted. Put them in a shallow serving bowl.
4. When the beets are done and cool enough to handle, slip off their skins. Cut the beets into large dice, and add them to the greens. Pour on the dressing, and toss. Sprinkle the vegetables with the toasted pumpkin seeds, and garnish with Maldon sea-salt flakes.
*Austrian pumpkin-seed oil can be ordered at pumpkinseedoil.cc or at kalustyans.com.

 

BABY BOK CHOY WITH LEMON-PONZU SAUCE
Ponzu is a sauce often used for sashimi. It is also very good with bok choy and pairs well with fresh tuna or salmon and rice.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes 4 side dishes

For the Lemon-Ponzu Sauce
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice(about ∏ lemon), or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper

For the Bok Choy
8 heads baby bok choy
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 scallions (green and white parts), sliced thin

1. Whisk all the ponzu-sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste, and set aside.
2. Cut the heads of bok choy lengthwise
into halves (or quarters, depending on their size). Rinse them well under cold running water, making sure any grit is removed from the base of the stalks.
3. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet or a wok, and stir-fry the garlic, ginger and scallions for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bok choy, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add ½ cup water, then cover, and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring from time to time, for about 5 minutes. If necessary, add a little more water, and cook further if the stalks aren’t tender. Place the bok choy in a heated serving dish, and spoon the sauce on top.

PORTUGUESE-STYLE STEW OF CLAMS, PORK, KALE AND BEANS

This can be made a day ahead; add the clams just before the stew is served. It is a lighter, healthier version of a classic Portuguese dish.

First Published August 22, 2011

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