One of the things I like best about growing up is changing tastes. When I was little, I had an on-off relationships with most vegetables, notably mushrooms. I loved them one week, and hated them the next. With growing up coming changing ideas of what tastes good, and I love it. I can be more creative, try different ingredients and recipes, cook things that are good for me at which I would have turned up my nose years ago. One of those things is kale. Since I worked on a CSA farm and tried Kale Chips for the first time, I have been looking for more ways to use this power green more often. One excellent option is in soup, like the Olive Garden copycat of Zuppa Toscana I made. Delicious and packed with healthy ingredients.
So as I had recently purchased more kale at Sprouts Farmers Market, along with some golden beets and fresh garlic heads, I decided to try another kale classic: Italian Sauteed Greens. I'm sure this is yet another popular side dish with a long and debated over past. But basically it's garlic and olive oil with various greens sauteed lightly, and usually a tangy dressing like vinegar or lemon juice added. Also it is sometimes spicy, but since I'm a wuss I did not add hot peppers or hot pepper flakes. Feel free to if you love heartburn.
1 bunch kale, cut into small strips
1 bunch beet leaves, in small strips
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
1/4 cup tangy thing (I used banana pepper liquid and 3 tbsp lemon juice)
Sprinkle sea salt
3-4 banana pepper rings
Step 1: Dice up your garlic into bits. You can use a garlic press or chopper if you want.
Step 2: Saute the garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil 4-5 minutes, you should be able to smell it.
Step 3: Cut the greens into tiny strips. Add to the pan, and cover tightly. Let it steam in the garlic oil for 10-15 minutes, or until fully wilted.
These greens were so vibrant and lovely even before cooking! All that heart-healthy nutrient-packed deliciousnes...
Step 4: Add your sour notes, lemon juice and banana peppers. Stir, cover, and saute another 5-10 minutes.
Banana pepper rings are a new love of mine. I put them on tuna sandwiches, on pizza, into my greens... they're awesome. And lemon juice is a necessity for life.
Step 5: Once wilted and everything is combined, move to plate and garnish as you like.
I added a little sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese and some sea salt. It was the most perfect balance, and the tart juices too away a lot of the harsh bitterness most people don't like about greens.
I also had some cottage cheese on the side, to complete a whole, light lunch. It's filling without feeling stuffed, and ridiculously good for you.
What's your favorite way to cook greens of any kind?
Labels: banana pepper, beet leaves, cheap and healthy, cheap side dish, easy side dish recipe, garlic, greens, healthy living, heart healthy, Italian greens, kale, lemon, low calorie, olive oil, side dish, vegan, vegetarian