Sauteed Winter Greens & Collards
This recipe was inspired from the childhood memories of my mom sautéing spinach and mushrooms. I loved this dish. I think I loved the mushrooms more than the spinach, but either way, it was usually served with a chicken dish and mashed potatoes. This was the only time we had sautéed greens. As a young adult, living on the farm was a big eye opener for me. I was introduced to so many imaginative varieties of vegetables that I had to become efficient in preparing vegetables and do it well. I have total comfort with vegetables and don't find them dull or intimidating at all. I was watching an episode on youtube of Julia Child. It was in the 50's, she was fresh back from France and she was convincing the viewers to work more with vegetables. She, in her adoring fashion, was nearly close to begging people to work with vegetables. I think in the west at least (California) the veg culture has changed and we no longer need much convincing...we see the immense benefits with working with veg beyond the baby-food stage. Vegetables should be cooked lightly and should have their natural crunch in the final dish. To over cook vegetables is just an insult to them. Keep these winter greens lightly cooked, full of bright green flavor and reap the benefits with every bite.
This recipe will feature collard greens tossed into a nice pepper & shitake mushroom sauté. Collards are strong and have a thick back spine. Being a part of the brassica family, they are also a bit bitter. This is the green that I will flash boil and blanch before cooking. Only to take the toughness out and a bit of the bitterness. It's not intimidating at all, you just need to do it and see for yourself how simple it is to enjoy a plate of sautéed super foods.
p.s. feel free to toss in a handful of dried Goji berries and sprinkle with a few raw organic sunflower seeds.
- 2 lb fresh greens spinach, rapini, kale, chard, spigarelli, beet tops, ...
- 2-3 Tbs olive oil nice, hearty organic blens
- 2-3 cloves garlic diced fine
- 1 whole onion red if possible, or the normal yellow is always great
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds slightly toasted in the pan, used as a topper
- 1/4 cup himalayan goji berries put in at the final minute of cooking.
Get a nice size sauté pan. Get the olive oil warm and begin to cut your onions in nice, fine slices. Add garlic and sauté until translucent.
Next, add your sauté partner. In this particular dish, I've opted for sweet mini peppers, and some fresh bought shitake.
Get a stock pot of boiling water on the stove. Wash your greens well, be sure to remove all the fine dirt that likes to settle in their leaves. Pat dry. Trim and discard stems and begin to slice up all the leaves evenly.
When the water is in a full boil, add a pinch of sea salt and toss in the greens, all at the same time. Immerse under water with a good stir, give it 20 seconds, and get them out. Immerse the greens in a pot of cold water (to stop the cooking process).
Add sliced greens to onion/garlic sauté, give it a quick mix around. Turn off the heat from the stove, toss in the gogi berries and put the lid on. I leave the pan on the warm stove or you can remove it if your time exceeds a few minutes. Add your toasted seeds to top. Serve.