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Monday, January 26, 2009

Green Garlic, Swiss Chard, and Kale

Green Garlic
Green garlic is simply garlic that is harvested before the bulb fully matures. T
he resulting vegetable resembles a green onion with a deep green stalk and a pale white bulb. The flavor of green garlic is milder and less bitter than fully mature garlic. The whole plant including the leaves can be used. For more information and recipes such as Linguine with Green Garlic Clam Sauce and Artichokes with Green Garlic Dip, please see Garlic Defanged by Daniel Patterson.

Green Garlic and Leek Risotto


2 medium leeks, white parts only

3 green garlic bulbs (white part), trimmed and chopped

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/4 cup white wine

Salt and pepper

6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, simmering

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup chopped parsley, and/or leftover green garlic tops

Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Quarter leeks lengthwise, cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, and wash well. Remove any tough, papery husks from garlic, then finely chop bulbs. Melt butter in a saute pan. Add leeks and garlic, stir to coat, then add wine and cook over medium-low heat until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside while you cook the rice.

Your stock should be simmering on the stove. Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes until the rice becomes slightly translucent on its outer shell and you hear popping sounds. Add wine and simmer until it is absorbed, then add 3 cups of the stock. Simmer until it has been absorbed, stirring every few minutes; then raise heat to medium and begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time. Stir continuously and continue adding liquid after each addition is absorbed. Rice is done when tender with a slight bite, about 30-35 minutes. Stir in leeks, cheese and herbs. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Lasagna with Swiss Chard


1 generous bunch Swiss chard (about 1lb.)

1/2 pound fresh or dry lasagna noodles

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 (28-ounce) can peeled Italian plum tomatoes (San Marzano) with sauce

Pinch of sugar

1 large basil sprig

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Salt to taste

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil while you prepare the chard. Fill a separate bowl with ice water. Remove the stems from the Swiss chard and set aside for another use. When the water comes to a boil, add the Swiss chard leaves. Boil 1 minute, then remove from the water with a slotted spoon or skimmer and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely and set aside. Cook the lasagna noodles in the same pot of water. Remove the pasta from the pot and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil in a bowl so they don't stick together.

Chop the canned tomatoes into medium dice, reserve sauce. In a wide, nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice, sugar, basil sprig, and salt (begin with 1/2 teaspoon and add more later), and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, until thick, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the amount of juice in the pan. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove the basil sprig. Stir in the Swiss chard and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil a square or rectangular baking dish (no bigger than 2-quart) and line the bottom with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spread half the ricotta over the noodles and half the tomato-chard sauce over the ricotta. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the tomato-chard sauce. Add another layer of noodles and top with the remaining ricotta and tomato-chard sauce, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Finish with a layer of noodles and the remaining Parmesan. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes, or until bubbling and the pasta is tender. Uncover, allow to sit for 5 minutes, and serve.

Pasta with Kale, Sage, and Potatoes

2 Tbs unsalted butter

2 large garlic cloves, smashed

5 sage leaves
, thinly sliced
1 bunch kale
, coarsley chopped
1 cup finely diced yukon potatoes

1/2 lb strozzapreti
or gemelli or another twisted pasta
2 1/2 oz Italian fontina cheese, grated

freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water with a colander insert to boil. Meanwhile, heat butter, garlic, and sage in small skillet over medium heat until butter is lightly browned and nutty smelling.
Remove the garlic. When the water comes to a boil, add the salt and potatoes. Boil for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Remove the potatoes and set aside. Boil the kale until tender ~4-6 minutes. Remove the kale and squeeze out the excess water. Cook the pasta until al dente; drain and add the kale, potatoes, and butter sage sauce. Add the cheeses and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cilantro, Pak Choi, and Kale

Cilantro is also known as coriander and is in the carrot family. It is used in natural medicine to stimulate digestion. It is also a good source of Thiamin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

Cilantro Pesto
This would be great to serve with grilled fish, shrimp or quesadillas.

2 cups loosely packed cilantro
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt to taste

Combine the cilantro with a pinch of salt, the garlic, lime juice, and the oil in a food processor or blender. Process until well blended. Add salt to taste.

Garlic and Cilantro Soup

This soup is similar to this classic Spanish style garlic soup, Sopa de Ajo, with the addition of cilantro. Serves 6.

2 Tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tsp paprika
6 eggs
6 small slices of a French baguette

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the garlic cloves and saute until golden and fragrant. Remove the garlic using a slotted spoon. Add the bread slices to the garlic flavored oil and saute until the bread is toasted and crisp on each side. Set the bread aside and add the stock and paprika to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and poach the eggs in the broth; you can either poach them as whole eggs or whisk them into the broth to form strands like egg drop soup. Add the chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the toasted bread.

Creamy Pak Choi Soup

1 Tbsp canola oil

1/4 c. chopped green onions

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1/2 lb pak choi or bok choi

1 small potato, peeled and diced

2 cups vegetable stock

salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp toasted sesame oil for garnish

chopped green onions for garnish

Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the green onions, garlic, and ginger to the pan. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pak choi and potato. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Puree until smooth, adding more stock if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with droplets of toasted sesame oil and chopped green onions.

Pak Choi with Ginger Butter

1/2 lb Pak Choi or Bok Choy, sliced

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

2 tsp minced fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Blanch the pak choi in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and pak choi. Saute for a few minutes until the choi is cooked. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

Crispy Roasted Kale with Sea Salt

Kale is one of the healthiest foods around. It is a good source of Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

The kale comes out of the oven crispy and salty, giving it an almost fried-like texture. The result is a great way to get kids (and grown-ups alike) to eat this very nutritious vegetable.

4 cups firmly-packed kale
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. good-quality sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and trim the kale: Peel off the tough stems by folding the kale leaves in half like a book and stripping the stems off. Toss with extra virgin olive oil. Roast for five minutes. Turn kale over. Roast another 7 to 10 minutes until kale turns brown and becomes paper thin and brittle. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kohlrabi, Pac Choi, Broccoli Leaves


Kohlrabi is a crispy, sweet tasting, delicate flavored member of the Brassica family of vegetables. It’s a distinctive looking vegetable, with a ball-like shape, pale green and purple-tinged, marked by points where the leaf-stems attached. Small kohlrabi bulbs which are young and tender generally do not require peeling. Medium to larger sizes should be peeled to remove the tough outer skin. The bulb can be sliced, cut into quarters, cubes or julienne strips and steamed until crisp-tender or sauté kohlrabi in butter or olive oil, or boil and mash like potatoes. The whole peeled kohlrabi can be added to braised dishes and stews. The crisp flesh can be served raw in salads, as a relish, or as a crunchy accompaniment to dips. The kohlrabi has delicious leaves that are tender and excellent in salads or stir-fried.

With only 36 calories, one cup of raw kohlrabi has nearly 5 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Potassium. Kohlrabi contains important phytochemicals such as indoles, sulforaphane and isothiocynates. Indoles are believed to be potentially significant anti-cancer compounds and are found in other cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. These plant compounds are not destroyed in cooking, and the bioactivity of indoles may actually be increased by cooking.

Avocado and Kohlrabi Salad


3 medium kohlrabi bulbs
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 lime juiced
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 feta cheese crumbles (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Peel the kohlrabi by cutting off the top and bottom, and peeling with a potato peeler. Shred with the large hole blade in the food processor. Mix together lime juice and diced avocados. Whisk together green onion, balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over kohlrabi and mix. Add diced avocados and feta cheese.

Kohlrabi Hash Brown Fritters

4 medium kohlrabi bulbs washed, peeled

1 small onion, chopped

2 eggs slightly beaten

2 Tablespoons dried breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

½ c chopped green onions

1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp olive oil

Shred kohlrabi (a food processor or salad shooter is great for this task); squeeze out excess moisture. Combine all ingredients except oil in a large mixing bowl; stir until well blended. Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté kohlrabi mixture in batches (I like to use a cookie scoop to portion out the mixture); sautéing until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with a bowl of yogurt or sour cream with chopped chives as a condiment. Serve with: Plain nonfat Greek yogurt or sour cream with chopped chives.

Pac Choi and Broccoli Florets Stir Fried with Garlic Sauce

1 Pac Choi or Bok Choy head, sliced and chopped into thin strips
3-4 c. of broccoli florets
3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp Sherry wine
2 Tbsp chicken or veggie broth
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp chili paste
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 c. chopped green onion
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 red pepper, optional
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. Combine soy sauce, wine, broth, cornstarch, chili paste, and sugar together in a small bowl. Heat the oil in a wok and stir fry the green onion , ginger, garlic, and red pepper together for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and pac choi and stir fry for 1 minute more. Add the sauce mixture and stir fry until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Broccoli leaves

When you buy broccoli at the store the leaves have already been removed, but they are entirely edible and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Broccoli leaves are a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron and Selenium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese. A serving of 100 grams provides a RDA of 320% Vitamin A and 155% Vitamin C.

To see the complete nutritional profile click here: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2815/2

I like to cook broccoli leaves the same way that I cook collard greens.

Garlicky Rolled Broccoli Leaves/Collard Greens

The technique of rolling the broccoli/collard leaves tightly together makes slicing easier.


1 lb broccoli leaves or collard greens
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

vegetable broth as needed
salt and pepper to taste
hot pepper sauce to taste

red pepper flakes to taste

Cilantro, chopped to taste

Remove stems from broccoli/collard greens. Wash and pat dry. Stack 4 or 5 leaves together, and roll up tightly. Cut across the rolled greens, slicing thinly (chiffonade). Heat oil in a large Dutch oven with a medium flame. Add onion and garlic; sauté 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add broccoli/collard greens, cook for 15-25 minutes or until desired level of tenderness is reached, stirring frequently. You can add broth if the greens become too dry. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and cilantro to taste; cook 2 minutes.