Utica Greens

FOR THE OREGANATO:

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup bread crumbs

½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

 

FOR THE GREENS:

1 1/4 pound greens mix

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 slices prosciutto cut roughly

4 to 6 hot cherry peppers (pickled or fresh), chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup + 2 Tbs Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and set aside.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, prepare the oreganato: Mix the oil, bread crumbs and cheese until well blended. It should have the texture of moist beach sand. Set aside.  When the water is boiling, blanch the greens until they are nearly limp but still a little firm, about 1 to 2 minutes. Plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove and drain them well in a colander or salad spinner, allowing them to remain moist but not dripping wet. Squeeze just a little of the moisture from them, then chop them into 2-inch pieces. Set aside.  Heat the broiler. Coat a large pan with the olive oil. Over medium heat, sauté the prosciutto, cherry peppers and garlic until the prosciutto is browned and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. (Lower heat slightly if garlic begins to brown too quickly.) Add the chopped greens to the pan, season with salt and pepper and stir to mix well.  Add 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1/2 cup of the oreganato. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently to blend, scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the oreganato from burning. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup oreganato atop the greens. (Save leftover oreganato for use in another greens dish, or add it to baked chicken or shrimp.) Place the pan under the broiler and broil until the top browns, about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and sprinkle a bit more cheese on the dish. Serve immediately.

 

Potato, Endive, and Country Ham Soup

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 onion, diced

1 leek, white and light green portions, minced

1 rib celery, diced

4 cups chicken broth

2 potatoes thinly sliced

1 sprig thyme

2 cups endive chopped

1 cup diced country ham

½ tsp. salt or to taste

¼ tsp. black pepper or to taste

Heat butter in a soup pot over love heat; add the onion leek, celery and garlic; stir until they are evenly coated with butter.  Cover the pot and cook until tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the broth, potatoes and thyme.  Simmer the sopu until the potatoes are beginning to disintegrate, 15 to 20 minutes.  Add the endive and diced ham and simmer the soup for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until all the ingredients are tender.  Add salt and generous amounts of pepper to taste.  From An American Bounty by the Culinary Institute of America.

Easy Pesto

2 cups greens

½ cup nuts (almonds, walnuts, filberts or pine nuts)

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tsp. salt

2 cloves garlic

½ cup olive oil

Place all ingredients except oil in a food processor.  As it processes, slowly add the oil.  Continue to process until smooth. Serve over pasta or as a dip.

Roasted Sardines with Green Garlic and Mint

12 (2-ounce) fresh sardines, scaled and gutted

Kosher salt

Extra virgin olive oil

4 stalks green garlic, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, toasted

1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, soaked and minced

1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, torn by hand

1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 500ºF.  Working with one fish at a time, remove the head. Gently pry open the belly to reveal the backbone. Place the fish, skin side up, on a work surface and run the palm of your hand along the spine to loosen it, then trim off the back fin. Turn the sardine over. Starting at the head end, pull the backbone towards the tail in a single motion. (Part of the tail may come off with the backbone.) Rinse the sardine under cold running water, checking for any loose bones, and then pat dry. Repeat with the remaining sardines.  Arrange the butterflied sardines on a baking sheet, skin side up. Season both sides with salt, and brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Roast the sardines, skin side up, for about 5 minutes, or until they are cooked through and the skin begins to sizzle.  Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, heat a few tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the green garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, or until softened. With a slotted spoon, remove the green garlic and set aside. Over medium-low heat, replenish the sauté pan with a few additional tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle in the bread crumbs. Sauté for about 2 minutes, or until they crisp up and darken slightly. Remove from the heat, add the green garlic, stir in the capers and mint, and set aside until serving. Transfer the sardines to a serving platter or divide among individual plates, and squeeze the lemon half.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

16 lettuce leaves

1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 green garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)

1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!

Rosemary Eggplant

2 Lbs eggplant peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes

Coarse salt

3-Tbs. rosemary leaves

4 garlic cloves, peeled

salt and freshly ground pepper

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

20 sprigs parsley leaves

10-12 slices of toasted crusty Italian bread

Place the eggplant cubes on a serving platter, sprinkle about 2 Tbs. of coarse salt over them, then place a second platter over the eggplant cubes as a weight, but do not crush them.  Let rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, finely chop the rosemary and garlic together on a cutting board.  Transfer the garlic mixture to a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Rinse the eggplant cubes many times under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels.  Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is moderately hot, about 300 degrees, add the eggplant cubes, preferably in a single layer, and cook, covered for 3 to 4 minutes.  By that time the lower part of the eggplant should have a thin golden crust.  Turn the eggplant cubes over, cover the skillet, and cook for 3-4 minutes more.  Sprinkle the garlic mixture and a little slat and pepper over the eggplant and mix very well with a wooden spoon.  Some cubes may fall apart; this is all right.  Keep cooking until all the cubes are soft.  With a skimmer, transfer the eggplant to a crockery or glass bowl.  Add the parsley leaves to the eggplant and mix again.  Immediately place the eggplant mixture over the slices of bread and serve.  This dish can be served as an appetizer or a vegetable, but should always be warm.  From Bugialli’s Italy.

Roasted Beet and Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients

1 pound beets

1 English cucumber (large, approximately 16 inches)

one small red onion, sliced (about 1/2 cup)

Garlic Yogurt Dressing

1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Cut off the very top of each beet and clean them thoroughly. Wrap the beets in foil and roast at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Unwrap the beets and allow them to cool until warm but cool enough to handle. Remove the skin from the beets with your fingers or a paper towel. Slice the beets and cucumbers into uniform pieces. Slice the red onion and add to a medium-large bowl with the beets and cucumbers.  For the yogurt dressing, combine the minced garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. (You can allow this to marinate for a while if you prefer.) Add the yogurt, dill and mint and stir until well-combined.  Pour the garlic yogurt dressing onto the vegetables and stir gently.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.  Serves 6-8

White Bean and Winter Greens Gratin

1 bunch kale or other greens

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 cloves chopped garlic

1-2 slices pancetta or ham cut to1/2 in. chunks

1 cup canned or frozen tomatoes

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp thyme

1 bay leaf

3 cups canned white beans (canned or cooked)

½ cup chicken or vegetable broth

For Topping

1 cup bread crumbs

¼ cup olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°.  Rinse greens, remove stems and cut crosswise into ribbons.  In a large pan, heat oil and sauté garlic pancetta.  When garlic starts to turn translucent (about 2 minutes) add greens and sauté 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the tomatoes, salt, thyme, bay leaf, drained beans and broth.  Mix gently.  Transfer into an oiled 10 inch gratin dish.  Mix topping ingredients, spread over beans and greens mixture and bake 40-50 minutes.

Adapted from Greens: A Country Garden Cookbook by Sibella Kraus

Collard Greens Gratin

4 oz. very thinly sliced country ham or prosciutto

1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 bunches collard greens (about 1 lb.), center ribs and stems removed

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Pre-reheat oven to 325°. Place ham on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, 20–25 minutes; let cool and break into pieces.  Combine breadcrumbs and 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet; toast over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 10–15 minutes. Remove from heat and add thyme and ¼ cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Mix in ham and set aside.  Cook collard greens in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl of ice water, and let cool. Drain and squeeze dry with paper towels. Coarsely chop greens and place in a large bowl.  Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to bowl with greens; set aside. Reserve saucepan.  Increase oven temperature to 400°. Melt butter in reserved saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth and very pale brown, about 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, ½-cupful at a time; add nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking often, until thickened, 5–8 minutes. Whisk in remaining ¾ cup Parmesan. Add béchamel to collard green mixture and mix to combine; season with salt and pepper.  Transfer collard green mixture to a 10” cast-iron skillet or 9” pie dish and top with breadcrumb mixture; place pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until gratin is bubbling, 15–20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

A Simple Recipe for the Hearty Greens You Don’t Know What to Do With

Hearty greens

Toasted sesame oil

Soy sauce

Furikake* or toasted sesame seeds

Tear the leaves from the tough stems (if any) and boil in water until tender (1 to 3 minutes).  Drain the greens in a colander and push on them to remove as much water as possible.  Roughly chop the cooked greens and place them on a serving platter.  Lightly sprinkle with soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with furikake or sesame seeds and serve as a side dish.  From The Farm to Table Cookbook by Ivy Manning

*Furikake is a mixture of sesame seeds, seaweed, and sea salt available in most Asian food stores.