Beautiful, organic small farm chard (with carrots)

May 2014

'Tis the Season for Greens!

It’s spring in Texas which means lots of local Greens will start popping up. Kale, spinach, bok choy, chard, arugula - keep an eye out. Local arugula is soft, fragrant and peppery - yum. Is Spinach your go-to green? Certainly the most popular leafy green in restaurants, it used to be my favorite. Now? My least favorite green. Let’s discuss...

 

Since getting Real Fine Food-ified, I have realized you can eat pretty much every part of every plant. So those radish greens, tops of leeks, beet greens and carrot stems you’ve been tossing? Deliciousness lost to the trash (or compost, if you are into that).

 

No more! Buying veggies with their greens intact has multiple benefits.!ONE: The plants are more complete and alive with roots, stalks and greens still attached. They will stay fresher longer in your fridge. TWO: That means more nutrients. And better flavor. THREE: The greens are food, too! More bang for your buck.

 

Vegetables with intact greens and roots will often be organic and/or local. Go for it. Little to no chemicals and low travel time. The fresher the better.

 

Sometimes I use the greens with their vegetable. For example, a roasted beet on top of its own greens tossed in a homemade vinaigrette is tasty. I’ve taken to roasting carrots whenever I get my hands on very fresh ones with their tops. I like to leave about an inch of the stem. The stems crisp up so beautifully from a roast and have extra vitamins and crunch! Good roughage (aka fiber). And guess what? You can make pesto with any green, nut and oil combo. Mix and match.

 

How about radishes. Possibly my favorite greens. Most people crinkle their noses at the memory of bitter experiences with the little beauties. Deny that memory and find an organic bunch with the greens attached. Slice those babies up and sauté. Or cut into chunks and roast. Then make a delicious side salad with the greens.

 

Here’s a simple recipe that will work with any leafy green :

• organic greens of choice

• thin sliced red onion

• handful of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas, canned, rinsed)

• whisk a dressing: fresh lemon, white wine vinegar, almond oil, salt & pepper

Toss all ingredients and enjoy!!

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