Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair
Friday, April 15, 2011
Lots of greens this week
by Nanette Geller
At last Saturday’s KCC Farmer’s market I couldn’t resist the gorgeous green chard at Milner Farms, even though I already had some baby beet greens (from Otsuji Farms) and hakurei (from MA'O) which I knew would give me a stash of “bonus greens.” Here’s how I used them, separately and together. No repeats.
When I got home from the market I separated the chard stems from the greens, After washing everything, I cooked them in the water clinging to the leaves. Cooked greens keep better than raw, and take much less space in the fridge. Plus, it’s that much faster to get dinner on the table during the week.
Bonus greens: baby hakurei leaves & baby beet leaves.
Swiss chard stems. In France, they are often served as a separate vegetable, treated like asparagus. Even if I plan to combine them with the leaves, I like to cook them separately since they take a bit longer.
Swiss chard greens.
Chard leaves served room temperature with calamansi. Most greens benefit from a touch of acid to brighten the taste. Conveniently, acid is also supposed to increase nutrient availability.
Chard stems marinated in smoked paprika vinaigrette (olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, Spanish smoked paprika, salt & pepper), served room temp.
Knockwurst (served hot, of course).
Roasted potatoes with Penzeys Turkish seasoning (also hot).Next to the mustard is a plate of the tiny baby beets that came with the beet greens. They were OK raw but not something we’re going to seek out. We only ate a few.
Lentils with chopped bonus greens and lots of Andy’s salsa to brighten things up. I use French green lentils which taste great and don’t get mushy. I cooked enough to have some ready for another night. Next to the lentils: the baby beets lightly pickled with salt, Japanese rice vinegar, and PacifiKool ginger syrup. Much better than raw – this we’d seek out.
“Tataro” taro salad from Taro Delight, avocado with lime, roasted cauliflower with Penzeys Singapore seasoning, roasted asparagus.
Meyer lemon wedges to squeeze over the lentils. The acid brightens and balances the earthy taste of the lentils. After using the juice we drop the peel into our water or seltzer. We do this with pretty much any citrus peel – just make sure it’s organic or at least unsprayed and unwaxed. Who needs soda?
A classic Mediterranean preparation for greens is sautéed in olive oil with raisins, pine nuts, and sometimes garlic. In fact, Joan Namkoong mentioned this in her article on chard last week. In Spain, it’s usually made with spinach.
My mother lived for many years in Nice, where chard is the vegetable of choice. I’ve brought my own “local” variation to potlucks for years, and always get asked for the recipe. My secret? Locally grown shallots instead of imported garlic, and lots of julienned ginger. I usually serve lemon on the side so the greens don’t discolor from the acid. Best served at room temperature.
Here, I sautéed the shallots and ginger in olive oil, then added a coarsely chopped mix of chard greens, chard stems, and bonus greens together with some raisins which had been plumped in hot water. I didn’t have pine nuts, so I toasted and coarsely chopped some pecans instead. Nice variation.
In the deeper bowl in back: lentils with green onion, a couple tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and olive oil. The sharpness of the mustard is a perfect foil for the earthy lentils.
Roasted cauliflower, hakurei, cucumber.
Meyer lemon for the greens.
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