Here is a salad I made and fell in love with. I prefer this with greens you can cook, like baby kale, baby spinach, or chard because the leftovers will hold up well instead of turning into lettuce soup.
greens from a hefty salad mix
walnuts, toasted if you care
If you are toasting the walnuts you can just stir them in a pan set over a medium high flame. Don't walk away! When they turn just a little bit golden and extra fragrant, turn off the flame and pour them into another container. If you leave them in the pan they may burn.
If you need to seed your pomegranate, just quarter it and rip it apart underwater in a bowl. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl and everything else will float. Pour off the top of the water with all the floating bits that look like styrofoam, and then strain the seeds. This is the easiest method I have found.
Plate the greens and pile on the cheese, walnuts, and pomegranates to taste. Drizzle healthy amounts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the whole thing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Drumroll please... The mystery greens to the left (Mystery Greens A) are sweet potato leaves that have spent a few days in the refrigerator. I had assumed that they would be poisonous like potato leaves, but these are edible. The stems are tough, but the tender leaves can be eaten stir-fried or steamed. I remember trying them last year, so I picked them up when I saw them at the Richmond farmer's market. I don't remember how I ate them before, but this time I over-steamed them and served them with salt and butter. Absolutely disgusting, and now I have no desire to try it again unless I am trapped on a desert island with nothing but sweet potato leaves to sustain me. But don't let that stop you.
And on to Mystery Greens B. They are still a mystery-I have no idea what they're called. The good news is that these mystery greens are wonderful. They taste like a cross between romaine lettuce and mustard greens. They are lightly bitter, and I am sure I'm a little healthier for eating them even if I couldn't prove it. I also believe they have an affinity with beef tallow. If you have any left over from making calcium broth, sauté these in the reserved fat with some garlic and salt or soy sauce. This last time I also added a half pound of ground pork. It was so good. It made a great light dinner with taro cake. Buy them at the farmer's market or Ranch 99.
"Mystery Greens A" was a snack for the birds.
When I buy kale or swiss chard, I try to cook it immediately before I forget about it. Sometimes I buy it with a specific dish in mind, like a kale-white bean-sausage soup, or the torta recipe I posted last week, but more often I just clean it and cook it right away to use in soups or eat right out of the container.
It never occurred to me to do this until I read about it in Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal.
any mix in any amount of any leafy greens
red pepper flakes
1. Put the greens in a huge bowl and fill it with water. Swish the leaves around a little to remove any grit that has collected there, allow the grit to settle at the bottom of the bowl, and pull the greens out and put them in a strainer. Repeat this a few times until you are confident your greens are clean.
2. Cut out any thick stems and slice up the leaves. I used to leave the stems in, but sometimes it's nicer to save the chewier parts for stem pesto.
3. Heat some oil in a sauté pan and throw in some sliced garlic. Add some red pepper flakes as well. Before any of it starts to burn, throw in some of the leaves and salt them lightly. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan and how much you're cooking. Any water still on the greens will help them to steam. Keep stirring. It won't take long.
You are now left with an oily, garlicky mess of. No more horrible fibrous reminders that you're doing this to cleanse your colon, to fight cancer, for calcium, or because you're supposed to.
If you start eating them now, while the mess is still warm, you will finish it. But if you put it away for another day, here are some ideas for how you can use it.
This sandwich is made with toasted bread, butter, sautéed greens, salt, pepper, a little lemon juice, and cheese. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it's really good. I haven't been able to stop at just one.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!