Monday, June 16, 2014

Spring treat - frizzled garden greens

We planted a fair number of quick-growing greens when we got back from New Zealand in April. We were eager to get something out of the garden, and some greens take only 30 or so days.

And then the 30 days went by (rather quickly) and now we have lots of greens, some of them bolting already despite our very cool June. They include several kinds of mustard, turnip greens, radish greens, kale (old and new), chard (old, just starting to go into its second-year biennial seed-producing phase) - a total of 8 kinds.

If I'd left them in the garden, they would have become tough and bitter. I have other options: leave them in the fridge till I need them (but there are more every day); sauté them and pack for the freezer against a day next winter when they'll be great in a soup; or….

Frizzle them!

I have done this before with kale but not as a regular habit and not with other varieties of greens. Here's what I'm doing now:

I'm looking over the greens when I first gather them from the garden. I don't want to wash them if I don't have to. Mostly they are fine, since I have harvested them by cutting them off several inches above ground level with scissors.

Then I'm laying them out on foil on a cookie sheet. The foil has been used several times, and already has a thin coating of olive oil, which adds a perfect flavor for greens. Once there, I wipe them around a pit in the oil, and if they seem dry, I'm adding a few more sprinkles of olive oil.

Then into the oven they go. The oven has been preheated to 400 degrees. Or else it is hot from baking something else, and that's the temperature I use. They go on the bottom rack.

Then I do my best to keep an eye on them. I don't want them getting black. They could use moving around at about the 3 minute mark. In 5 minutes, they are ready to take out, usually.

Once they're out, I let them cool off. Or I sprinkle them with parmesan. Or I sprinkle them with salt.

I serve them with supper. They're great on soup, or just to eat by hand with almost anything. (So far, with everything.) They're reminiscent of nori.

I'm thinking of crumbling them into leftover rice tonight, after it's reheated. Though they really are best when they are crisp, and it takes almost no moisture to soften them up and the rice may wreck them.

Last night supper got delayed by Father's Day calls from the kids, so I didn't go out harvesting. Instead I just grabbed a handful of mixed greens from the produce-keeper bag in the fridge to frizzle. So if you don't have a garden but want to have these very tasty (irresistible) healthy crisps around, you can certainly use greens from the farmers' market or store.

Let me know how you're using them.

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