Friday, February 18, 2011
Classic CSA Braising Greens, Three Ways
This week we each had a bag of braising greens, so I have two extra bags ... a real treat, as I have never seen braising greens in the grocery store. The farmer's e-mail tells us the greens are all Asian varieties: mizuna, tatsoi, and mibuna. These greens wilt down significantly when cooked, like spinach. So I like to mix other vegetables (preferably from the CSA box!) in with them. This week's bok choy and red onion were perfect candidates!
There are, of course, infinitely more than three ways to cook greens. I have given ideas here. Think of them as the starting point for your own creations. The photo shows the Indian Braise.
CLASSIC CSA BRAISING GREENS, THREE WAYS
I suspect braising greens might be available in Asian markets, of which we have several in our area. But if you can't find them, spinach, chard and even sturdy lettuce varieties will work. Just watch the cooking times so you don't overcook thinner greens.
1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil
1 baby bok choy, sliced
1/2 large or 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
2 cups sliced cabbage
1 tablespoon curry powder or garam masala
12 ounces or so mixed braising greens, sorted and washed
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon red curry paste or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt to taste
Coconut and chopped macadamia nuts to garnish (optional)
Heat vegetable oil in large-ish skillet. Add bok choy, onion and cabbage. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
Scatter curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt atop vegetables, stir, and cook, stirring for a minute or so until the spices become fragrant. Stir in coconut milk and curry paste, mixing well.
Pile braising greens into the pan, stir well to incorporate them with the other vegetables, and cover. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary, until greens have wilted and become somewhat tender. Sprinkle coconut and chopped macadamia nuts atop if desired.
Makes two large or four small servings.
To same (or different!) combination of vegetables above, add chopped ginger and garlic when sauteeing the bok choy, onion and cabbage. Use sesame oil if desired. When adding the braising greens, stir in hoisin sauce or soy sauce mixed with a little water. Add crushed red pepper if desired. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
To same (or different!) combination of vegetables above, using coconut oil or vegetable oil, saute with plenty of garlic. Stir in raisins, dried cranberries or chopped prunes when you add the braising greens. Just before serving, stir in a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, and some fresh walnuts. Orange peel and orange juice work well with this combination, too.