Greens I never knew existed

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.

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