This is not news: greens are the first, heartiest, most prolific edible that can be grown in the northeast. After the deep winter farm share pick-ups – where a pound of stemmy salad mache was a treat in early February – I learned to expect and accept this green (or greens) challenge. Unsurprisingly we got a bunch of various greens at the first regular farm share pick up of the season last Wednesday and I’ve been pulling out the stops since to use them in new and creative ways. Luckily we’ve found some local greenhouse tomatoes that rival the mid-summer fruits. These have been gracing our salads with goat cheese (I think I can stop identifying my dairy as local any more – it all is!) and shredded carrots. The tomatoes also made a star appearance in a caprese with Fiore mozzarella and basil from my garden.
But the braising greens were another challenge. To make the kale and bok choy more exciting, I modified a recipe I tried last year, using some mustard from Maine and my own spicy pickled cukes and shredded onion. Great as a side dish with dinner, or the next day cold over lettuce.
Saute a clove of spring garlic and a thinly sliced onion or a couple of scallions in oil (olive oil or mustard oil would be extra tasty). Meanwhile wash your greens well – don’t dry them. When the garlic is soft (maybe 2 or 3 minutes) add the damp greens. The heat should be around medium. Add a two or three tablespoons of pickle brine, some chopped pickled vegetables and a fat tablespoon of mustard. Cover the saute pan and let the greens wilt, flipping the contents with tongs a few times. When the greens are almost done to your liking (maybe 5 minutes later), uncover and let some of the steam burn off before serving.