The Best Greens Recipe

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Grow Better Greens Podcast | Comments Off on The Best Greens Recipe

In this week’s episode, we’re discussing the best greens recipe with our favorite go-to tricks in the kitchen for taking your homegrown greens from harvest all the way to restaurant-quality side dish. In fact, we’re sharing what we believe is hands-down the BEST greens recipe for all green vegetables! We definitely keep things simple for you – you may even be able to listen without pen and paper handy and still throw a tasty greens dish together tonight. Unique, flavorful, and flexible are the driving forces behind the delicious recipes we’re sharing for homegrown greens.

You can listen in here, or download for later:

The Best Greens Recipe

What Makes a Great Greens Recipe?
The Best Greens Recipe Award Goes to…
The Wonderful World of Braising
Your Greens Pie, Your Greens Way
Why Do You Grow Food?

What Makes the Best Greens Recipe?

Since we’re arguing that we have the Best Greens Recipe ever to share, we thought you might like to know how we judged the contenders. Strictly On Taste. The recipes that we’re sharing with you today are all about transforming homegrown greens into restaurant-quality, gourmet side dishes (plus one main!)

Our sole focus here, is to show you that with just a teeny bit of hands-on time and very few steps, you can create super-delicious, healthy greens. Like the kind you’d pay money for.

Also, please note that our recipes today all celebrate cooked greens. We’re both fans of the way cooked greens taste, can be comforting without being unhealthful, and are easy to digest. While we still like our salads, juices and smoothies, we’re both proud to say that we prefer cooked greens (and other cooked vegetables) most of the time.

While raw foods are very hot today (see what I did there?) they’re not known for being easy on your system. Many of us dive into a heavy-veg diet because we don’t feel well, without realizing that eating raw might provoke an unexpectedly un-healthy reaction! Big Vote for cooked food! Some of the enzymes that disappear above 188F are intended for plant use, not human use.

The Best Greens Recipe Award Goes to…

The Improver! This quick, 3-ingredient pan sauce is a winner every time, on every green vegetable. Try it on asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, as well any green you can think of. It’ also perfect on salads, as a warm vinaigrette.

Spinach, for example, is one of those greens that tastes great slightly wilted by a hot dressing, as it’s flavor easily changes for the worst when cooked. (Sorry, Liz; it’s the truth!)


To make The Improver, you’ll need: 2 Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce and 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar.

To start, brown the butter in a pan over medium heat. Your goal here is to make a traditional ‘brown butter’ – meaning that (without burning it) you want to change the butter’s color to brown, allowing the milk solids to separate. So, you’re not finished until you see solids swishing around in your pan!

Pour the butter into a heat-safe jar or dish as soon as you’re comfortable. Lastly, add the soy sauce and balsamic, and stir*. Use while hot.

*Never add the soy or vinegar to the hot butter in the pan, as it will dangerously splatter everywhere!

The Wonderful World of Braising

The best thing about braising is that it’s transformative. It softens the ‘tough’ right out of any fibrous food, like mature kale, collards, and chard. What I love the most about braising, is that it’s the ultimate ‘peasant food’. And every gourmet chef knows that those cheap, overlooked foods can often become superstars with a little TLC.

The key to a great braise is to use a shallow-lidded pan (one that leaves little space between itself and your ingredients). This is because when you braise, you’re swaddling ingredients in liquid, and you want the lid super-close so that tons of little droplets can fall right onto your food.

Two other key factors that help to build deep flavors when braising, is to to use broth (or wine) instead of water and to ‘finish’ the braise with vinegar (or another acid, like lemon). I could eat this every day. Here’s a great recipe for you to check out:

http://Bobby Flay’s Braised Kale

Your Greens Pie Your Greens Way

Arguably, this is more of a main dish, but it does come with an undeniable side of appeal. To start, I think of veggie pies and tarts as a choose-your-own-adventure; you can always find crusts and fillings that suit your current eating style.

Think buttery, olive oily, lard-y, gluten-free polenta, and even crusts made from mashed or sliced veggies.That should cover you! In terms of fillings, there are plenty of options for eggy-type quiches, ricotta, parmesan, or feta cheese pies, and of course, you can go completely vegan, as well.

The best part, especially when you add pretty vegetables like sliced tomatoes or colorful peppers, is that this time around, dinner might be pretty! Whether you prefer prim and proper or loose and rustic, pies and tarts are a great way to bring some culinary creativity to your table.

Check out the different recipes below!

Vegan Kale & Potato Tart from The Cozy Herbivore

Gluten-Free Polenta Tart With Green Garlic and Spinach from Lettys’ Kitchen/

Chard and Saffron Tart from Deborah Madison

Italian Kale Pie with Olive Oil Crust and Pancetta from Food Republic/

Why Do You Grow Food?

In this section we ask our listeners to share why they are growing food. This week Gail and the awesome children from Come and See Farm share why they grow food.

Gail and the kids won a collection of Liz’s heirloom leafy green seeds, available on Amazon.

Thanks for reading my blog : ) I appreciate your time and wish you much success in growing healthy food!