Saturday, July 12, 2008
Overboard with greens
I came home from the coop Thursday with a mess of greens. The swiss chard and kale looked so wonderful that I just couldn’t resist. The only trouble was, it’s pretty hard to fit 5 bunches of chard and 4 bunches of kale in a refrigerator – loaded with a weeks worth of produce. So Thursday night, I prepared 2 of the chard for dinner that night, then set out chopping and bagging the remaining greens. For dinner, I simply sautéed a small diced onion until it was tender, then added two diced tomatoes. Next came a dollop of apple cider vinegar, a pinch or two of sugar, a twist of salt and two bunched of chopped chard. I didn’t even bother to remove the stems of the chard. Some cooks will tell you to do that – but the stems aren’t that tough, and I don’t mind a little crunch with my greens. Besides, I am just too lazy and time crunched to remove the stems if I don’t need to. I served the greens along side some leftover eggplant parmesan and everyone truly enjoyed the meal. For storing the remaining greens, I simply chopped the chard – stems and all – and stored them in a large plastic bag. The kale required a little more work because I really don’t like kale stems. The stems are incredibly tough and it seems they just won’t soften in the amount of time it takes to wilt the greens. Removing kale stems isn’t tough, just hold the kale leaves in your left hand, grab the stem in you right hand, and rip up. The stem should easily tear away from the greens and leave you with a handful of kale. It didn’t take long to destem 4 bunches of kale and chop the leaves. Again, I stored the kale in a large plastic bag. I did not wash the greens prior to storing since I didn’t want the added moisture in the plastic bags. In a matter of about 20 minutes, I was able to take all of my greens and fit them nicely in the refrigerator. Greens are so high in nutrients, low in calories, easy to prepare and so wonderful tasting that it’s hard for me to understand why more people don’t try them.