Greens with Garlic, Mushrooms, and Pepitas

December 11, 2006 at 4:08 am (B_minus (2 stars, okay), Cruciferous rich, Dark leafy greens, Peter Berley, Quick weeknight recipe)

This recipe is from the Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley. This is his “all-purpose” greens recipe. He recommends drizzling on homemade herbal or chili vinegar.

  • 1 large bunch kale, collard, or mustard greens (about 2 pounds), trimmed, stems sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinl sliced
  • 4 to 6 ounces white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  1. In a large pot over high heat, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 tsp. salt.
  2. Drop the greens into the boiling water and cook, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender and bright green. Drain in a colander.
  3. In a heavy, wide saute pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, or until pale gold. Do not let the garlic brown. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce and saute, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mushrooms soften.
  4. Chop the cooked greens and add them to the pan. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender.
  5. Season to taste with salt. Serve sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and pass the lemon wedges on the side.

Serves 4.

My Notes

I think this idea is a pretty solid basic greens recipe. I really like the greens with mushrooms and pumpkin seeds, although they’re good even if you don’t have either of those ingredients. The amounts, however, seem way off to me. Maybe my scale is broken, but one bunch of greens doesn’t come anywhere near 2 pounds for me. Last time I made this I put in one bunch of curly kale and one bunch of lacinato kale and I thought there was way too much greens for the amount of seasoning. Also, chopping the boiled greens is kind of a pain–I wonder if they can be chopped before boiling or if that’s bad? Anyone know?

Update Sept 2007: Today I bought a huge bunch of some sort of green that looked like a cross between dinosaur kale and collards. The farmer didn’t know what it was called in English but said the Italian name is Spiaggia(sp?). Anyone know what this green is? After I removed all the big stems the greens weighed about a pound. I sliced them thinly, then par-boiled them in a big pot of salted water (maybe 2 quarts water and 1.5 tsp. salt). I boiled them for only 2-3 minutes, then drained them. When I tasted them they were tasty, sweet with a good greens flavor. However, they were still quite chewy, and not quite salty enough. In my 12-inch skillet I heated 2 Tbs. olive oil and 3.5 Tbs. minced garlic, along with 1/2 tsp. red chile flakes. I added the greens and 2 tsp. soy sauce and let them cook for about 8 minutes, but they still were quite chewy, not yet tender. I gave up on getting them tender without them turning army green, and offed the heat and added 1 Tbs. lemon juice. They were pretty well seasoned, spicy but not too spicy, and just enough acid. They felt a bit greasy though, so next time I’d try just 1.5 Tbs. olive oil, and maybe cut back the garlic to just 2 Tbs.

Tip: if your greens are bitter try adding just a touch of mayo too them, and/or some fresh lime juice.

Rating: B

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