Bitter Greens

When garden greens are overly mature, on the verge of bolting, aging and consequently becoming bitter and less than tender and succulent use this classic Mediterranean technique. In Italy and Greece where people treasure their cooked greens and enjoy a slight bitterness they commonly parboil the greens in lightly salted water and then saute’ these greens in olive oil and a little garlic.

I use this method with mixed and aging greens of, endives, chicory, mustard, pac choi, chard etc. Into the pot of boiling water go chunky stems and leaves washed, but barely trimmed. If stems seem truly tough I either discard or toss those in a minute ahead of the leaves. Boil for three minutes and drain in a colander while heating a skillet with olive oil and a generous amount of chopped garlic that is  allowed to soften but not  brown. Dump in the greens and stir around for another three to four minutes. On occasion, I’ve  added seed free sliceed Kalamata olives, dried currants, raisins or a sprinkle of pepper sauce. Serve on a platter hot or at room temperature, sometimes surrounded by fresh lemon wedges. The volume of these greens is dramatically reduced. This double cooking method results in very tender delicious greens. There is absolutely no reason to do anything more than a slight chopping of these greens. While I’m sure leftovers would be good we’ve yet to have any.

I’d say use any of your garden greens except large amounts of carrot leaves which don’t taste good and in spite of a recent article to the contrary, the jury is still out on whether these are healthful to eat. You’ll lose a few vitamins by boiling but you will be be preparing a dish with a high nutrient profile yet low in calories.

Advertisements

Find Nichols Garden Nursery

I want all our  blog visitors to know we are now on facebook and you tube.

http://www.facebook.com/NicholsGardenNursery

This is where we comment on gardening and keep you informed about what is happening here at our nursery/seed company:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf3GQcw_EOQ

Here is the first episode of our new series of short instructional videos on how to grow, care for and use herbs from your garden. This session is “How to Make a Lavender Wreath”.

http://www.NicholsGardenNursery.com

Please visit our site, request a catalog if you don’t already have one and of course check out our online catalog. We are a 62 year old family seed owned seed company located in Albany, OR.

Happy gardening,

Rose Marie

Malibu Herb Blend & Eggplant Dip

Fooling around in the kitchen has led to a new herb blend and an eggplant dip I hope you will enjoy. We served it with  slices of fresh carrot, fennel and kohlrabi. Try any crisp veggies you have or crackers. 

2 cups roasted eggplant, peel discarded

1/2 cup Greek or other natural yogurt

1 tablespoon Malibu Herb Blend

3 tablespoons virgin olive oil

2 diced paste tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic granules or 1 medium minced garlic clove

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried

If your  yogurt has a lot of liquid try pouring off that excess and then add yogurt to mixture. The tomatoes do not need peeling. Combine all ingredients and if desired salt to taste. You’ll find this a snap to prepare and a healthful starter to meals when you want to serve a little something before dinner.