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Posts Tagged ‘Turnips’

adapted from:  Asparagus to Zucchini, by MACSAC

The term “greens” refers to the more common cooking greens, such as arugula, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, and radish tops.  They can be used interchangeably.  “Salad Greens” refers to greens that are usually eaten raw.  Kale, chard, and spinach are specific tags. 

Most garden greens are cool-weather plants, and will usually be found in the spring and fall CSA shares.  Eat your greens!  They are packed with nutrients, low in calories, high in fiber, and renown for their roles in disease prevention.  Each variety of greens has it’s own flavor–some spicy, some mild.  Get to know them. 

COOKING:  Wash your greens before cooking to remove any garden grit. 

Be careful not to overcook.  They’ll be mushy, tastless, and significantly reduced in nutrition. 

Remember that as greens cook, they lose volume.  They will be 1/4 to 1/8 their original volume. 

Boil greens for 3-5 minutes.  Or, steam greens for 8-10 minutes, depending on maturity and toughness of green. 

As you cook the greens, watch for the color of the greens to brighten.  This signals that cooking is complete, or nearly complete.  When overcooked, colors are dark and faded.

***The most typical method to cook greens:  In a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of water to boiling.  Add greens and heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until stems are almost tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain well.  Wipe skillet dry.  In same skillet, cook som chopped garlic in olive oil until golden.  Stir in the cooked greens, and heat through.  Season with salt and pepper.

Saute baby greens, and stir-fry larger greens.  Add them toward the end of the cooking time.  Two to five minutes is usually enough.

Milder greens are:  spinach, chard, collards, beet greens, kale.  Spicier greens are:  turnip, mustard, arugula, radish.  They are interchangeable, but the pungency will vary.

Add to burritios, sandwiches, soups, stews, omelets, quiches, lasagna, casseroles.  Or, serve simply as “greens”:  top with some butter, or just eat them plain.  Or, toss with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Or, toss with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.  Or, toss iwth a lemon vinaigrette.

Raw salads are always great too!

STORAGE:  Store preferably unwashed, wrapped in damp towel or plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator.  Best used very fresh, but may last for up to a week. 

For long term storage, freeze greens.  Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes.  Rinse n cold water to stop the cooking, drain, and pack into airtight containers.  Freeze.

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