Monday, April 4, 2011


My first food blog.  And, I know you won't believe it, but these are some of my favorite foods.  Greens.  I mean, who doesn't like a salad?  Of course, my favorite salad is a salad someone else makes.  I mean, really, whose isn't?  Below is a pic of mescalun greens.  These greens are the best raw in a salad.  Sure, add some arugula, a few radishes, blood orange segments and a vinaigrette and you've got a delicious salad.  Now, you see I didn't add tomatoes.  Mescalun greens and tomatoes aren't available at the same time of the year here in the mid-Atlantic.  I get my greens from a CSA (community supported agriculture) in my area.  This is a farm I buy shares into and get veggies in return every week.  Not cheap, but organic and local.  It's how I choose to buy my food and spend my money.
The next green in the hit parade of my favorites is Arugula or Rocket greens.  These are a spicy green best added to salads or sandwiches.  They add SO much flavor.  I LOVE Arugala.  I haven't cooked it yet because I eat it raw in salads and don't have any left over.  If you haven't tried Arugala yet, try it.  It is delicious.
Now we are coming to, what may be, the more unusual greens.  Below is a green called English Cress.  You may know it as Water Cress or Garden Cress.  It is a delicious green.  I like it in soups.  I add it at the end of Italian Wedding soup or Chicken and Rice.  I like lots of it in soups.  I've heard the English eat something called Water Cress sandwiches.  I don't eat sandwiches very often, so I can't say anything about this.  I love it in soup.  I also like it with arborio rice in risotto.  Delicious.
English Cress
The next green is Rapini or Broccoli Raab.  These are the early shoots of the greens.  They can be COVERED with yellow flowers.  Rapini has a cabbage smell to it when sauteed briefly.  I LOVE this green as a side dish with ANYTHING.  I mean, if you like broccoli you will LOVE RAPINI.  This is best sauteed briefly with a bit of olive oil and garlic.  So good.
I think Mustard Greens are my FAVORITE green.  So good and so spicy.  I just can't get enough of them.  Now, I know many of you have eaten greens saturated in bacon grease and who doesn't LOVE bacon.  But, could you taste the greens under all that bacon?  I, too, cook the greens in some bacon, but VERY LITTLE bacon.  Here's the trick to making DELICIOUS greens.  I boil a large pot of water and salt and blanch the greens briefly in the boiling water.  Blanching the greens in the boiling water before sauteing them, sweetens the greens.  So good.  On another burner I have a saute pan with one slice of bacon chopped up and crisped and half a small onion chopped and sweated.  I take the greens and put them in the hot saute pan immediately from the boiling pot and move them around until they are dry (or all the water is steamed off).  Then I add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  I serve these on top of half a baked sweet potato and viola', dinner is served.  The play of the spicy greens, salty bacon and sweet potato is just DELICIOUS and healthy.
Mustard Greens
Lastly, but far from least is Kale.  Below is curly kale.  This is such a beautiful green.  This green can be cooked exactly the same way the mustard greens are cooked and will be delicious.  I also make them the way my Grandmother made them in the "old country" or Holland.  Grandma used to put some potatoes in a pan with some water and boil them.    She tossed in some kielbasa on top of the boiling potatoes for flavor and added the chopped kale.  When the potatoes were done she removed the kielbasa and mashed the potatoes and greens.  She sliced the kielbasa and added it back to the mash and served.  I make the dish a bit richer by beginning the process with a slice or two of bacon, chopped and then sauteing the kielbasa, bacon with a chopped onion.  I remove the kielbasa and add chicken stock and the potatoes.  Bring to boil.  I add the chopped kale and when the potatoes are done I mash and add the sliced kielbasa.  I love this dish.  I makes me think of my childhood and Grandma.  I've "lightened" this dish by using turkey bacon and turkey kielbasa, just sayin'.
Curly Kale
Thanks for letting me share some food I love.  I hope you will learn to enjoy greens.


  1. wow! Interesting...and tempting. Not sure what is available in my neck of the woods but I will check. Personally I love greens...especially brussel sprouts, but now look forward to trying some new ones.
    Thanks for sharing cooking tips too.

  2. You've got it goin' on girl! Good for you buying and eating local. I love greens of all kinds and especially the ones you mention here. Another green veggie that works well blanched and sauteed are green beans. Sauteed in a bit of butter. Oh, and asparagus too. I eat so many salads and greens, I'm surprised my skin hasn't turned green.

  3. That's my standard dinner - a very large green salad. Spring green mix, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, feta cheese, toasted walnuts and a dressing made of dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon juice.

    I like to braise greens like collards or mustard greens in chicken broth with a little canadian bacon. YUM!

  4. I've never heard of a couple of those varieties! I love salad, but don't like to make it, so I don't have them often enough. I like to order them when I go out :)

  5. I have never tried English Cress or Rapini. I love greens, I would say my favorite is kale, especially in soup. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information about greens :)

  6. Oooh yummy! In other lettuce-like categories I like: radicchio , endive, and bibb lettuce. :)

  7. This is great! I love the sounds of the bacon, greens and sweet potaotoe!!! Love! But come on, if you like greens so much you HAVE to try making the kale chips - SERIOUSLY - you WILL LOVE THEM!!!!!! :D

  8. nice...we love our greens...even my boys! we probably eat kale the most as it is my wifes fav...

  9. We are doing a CSA this year! One of the teachers at my school and her husband who teaches at the high school have a family farm. Unfortunately....with snow piles still on the ground, our boxes of yummy food won't be here for quite a while!

  10. Yay! A food post! Did I ever mention that food is one of my favourite things? :) We also are part of a CSA. We just joined another one and our first pick-up was tonight. The pick-up for our current CSA was also tonight so needless to say, my fridge is very very full. Unfortunately, I think I'm farther north than you so we have very little on the greens front. I did get some spinach and chard though. :)


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