Greens Are Great!

There are so many varieties of greens that are now considered ‘mainstream’ that were not widely available even five years ago.

Arugula has a wide flavor range from sweet to peppery and assertive. It’s often well loved or hated by consumers. It can be served with seafood or as a vessel for ground meats.

Micro greens are a specialty green mix that can be more difficult to find and can be quite pricey. They are made from a wide variety of types of greens including mustard, watercress, and arugula. They are called ‘juvenile’ greens because they are picked when they are still baby sprouts. This attributes to their very high nutritional qualities.

Dandelion greens are a powerhouse for vitamin K, which benefits bone strength. Its bitter flavor can be an acquired taste, but pairs well with pungent flavors like mushrooms and flavored oils.

Radicchio has a hardy texture and flavor. Grilling it brings a lovely smoky profile and it pairs well with beef or more dense seafood, such as swordfish or scallops.

Kale is not new by any means, but it has skyrocketed in popularity, becoming more mainstream than it was previously. Many people object to its woody texture when raw, but there are things you can do to reduce that. First, de-stalk it after you wash the leaves. When drying the leaves, massage them gently to soften them. Dress the raw leaves and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or apply a warm dressing or warm ingredients to make the texture more appealing.

kale salad_m2

Kale Salad With Bacon-Blue Cheese Vinaigrette (EatingWell.com)
Serves 6- about 1 1/3 cups each

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes scrubbed, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
6 cups kale, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon honey mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
3 pieces center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Belgian endives, cored and sliced
1/4 cup currants or sweetened dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Toss potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of both salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread out on a large baking sheet reserve the bowl). Roast the potatoes, stirring once or twice, until tender and browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Place washed kale in the large bowl, add the hot potatoes and let stand for a few minutes, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are warm butt not hot.
4. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, blue cheese, shallot, mustard, parsley, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the warm salad. Add bacon, endive and currant (or cranberries); toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Calories-218, Fat 11g, Cholesterol 8mg, Carbs 26g, Total sugar 6g, Protein 8g, Fiber 4g, Sodium 390 mg, Potassium 886mg

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