have been enjoying greens for years. The rest of us are just catching
on to the great tastes and textures and the nutritional benefits.
Summer is the season for greens mustard greens, arugula,
mache and others join old stand-bys like lettuce in the market.
What to Look For
that have a rich color and a bouncy look. Yellowing, limpness,
and spotting are signs the greens are old and may taste sour when
Washing and Storing
to wash greens carefully since dirt often gets between the leaves.
Trim the stems, rinse the leaves, then plunge them into a large
bowl or sink filled with water. Let them soak for a few minutes
while the dirt settles to the bottom. Repeat as necessary. To
store, refrigerate greens in plastic bags.
Size is the
secret to cooking greens. Young, small greens are great raw in
a salad or a sandwich. Medium-sized greens should be cooked lightly,
like wilting or stir-frying. Fully mature greens should be roasted
or stewed to mellow them.
is tiny, you just barely need to wilt it. And when it's older
and bigger, you change your methods. It goes into the soup. Maybe
it gets pureed. It needs to cook longer, " explains Alice Waters.
"But that happens with all fruits and vegetables. They have a
time when they're young and sweet and then they get a little older,
so you cook them in different ways raw in July and very
cooked by Christmas." (To read more from Alice Waters see Chefs@Home)
too. A cold snap brings out the flavor. Ask at the farmers' market
or check with the grocer to find out where your greens are grown.
are green with envy. Collard greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard
and turnip greens have the rare distinction of being calcium-rich.
Greens are also a great source of vitamin
It's Easy Being Green
that partner well with greens are vinegar, garlic, nutmeg and
shallots. Young kale and spinach demand a sharp vinaigrette but
a tender Boston or Bibb lettuce would be overwhelmed. Pair them
with a milder dressing using orange juice instead of vinegar.
Meet The Greens
Try these delicious recipes for greens: