Now that the weather is getting cooler, I am getting greens every week in the box from the organic farm. Some are beneficial favorites like collards, kale, and spinach. But there are a surprising number of greens that I have never heard of.
Sweet potato greens – Obviously these are the tops to sweet potatoes. Interestingly the farm doesn’t send me sweet potatoes and sweet potato greens in the same box. When I washed them they felt tough, so my expectations were low. As I cooked them there was a faint aroma of sweet potato in the kitchen. When I tasted them they were really good, not tough at all. They mostly tasted like greens, but there was just a hint of sweet potato. I ate them with ground beef and onions.
Arugula – I thought arugula was a lettuce. When I looked it up, I found out that it can be eaten raw, but that it has a strong flavor and should be mixed with more traditional lettuce for a salad. It can also be cooked. I decided to cook mine. I ate it with salmon, and it was a good combination.
Malabar Spinach – If I looked at this green, I would not guess that it was a spinach. It has bright red stems. Perhaps it was the red stems that made me think of beet greens (one of my favorites) so I was predisposed to anticipate a beet green taste. It was very good.
Amaranth greens – I’m familiar with amaranth as a grain. I like it because it has a pudding like consistency, but I can’t get anyone else in my family to eat the grain with me. When I looked up amaranth greens, one website called them weeds – like dandelion I guess. The amaranth greens were pretty, and looked like they would make a good salad. Then I read that though they were, “astringent when raw, the greens turn soft and mellow as they cook down.” I decided to go with mellow. In fact I added some curry powder to counteract anything astringent. I ate them with left over chicken, and they were very tasty.
Braising Lettuce – I chose this as a swap in the box for the avoid eggplant. I was focused on the word lettuce, so I didn’t buy lettuce for salad when I went to the store the day before the box arrived. As I washed it, I thought, this is not going to make a good salad at all. Then I looked at the delivery receipt and realized it did say braising. I followed typical braising instructions, cooking it first at high heat in light olive oil, then turning down the heat and letting it simmer until it was tender. When I first tasted it, I wasn’t impressed. But I had some Greek seasoning, which I sprinkled generously on the braised lettuce. I added ground beef and had a very good meal.
Adventurous organic eating is fun. So many interesting things arrive in my box.