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TIP OF THE DAY: Sauté Your Greens

How To Saute Greens

Green Garlic
TOP: You can sauté greens in 2-4 minutes,
with some onion, garlic and olive oil. What
looks like red-tipped green onions are red
spring onions, a close relative (see the
differences below). The green garlic
tops and bottoms have been minced.
BOTTOM: Green garlic, available in the
spring, looks like scallions (but you won’t be
fooled—the nose knows!). Photos courtesy
Good Eggs.

  Your recommended daily fill of vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, mashed or puréed. A glass of a 100% vegetable juice counts as a serving.
 
YOUR CHOICE OF VEGGIES

The USDA organizes vegetables into five subgroups. Your daily servings can come from any of them, although a mixture is best for rounded nutrition:

  • Dark-green vegetables
  • Starchy vegetables, including white potatoes and grains
  • Red and orange vegetables, including sweet potatoes
  • Beans and peas
  • Other (bean sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, green cabbage, lettuce, green/wax beans, mushroom, onion, yellow squash/zucchini, etc.)
  •  
    Women and teen girls should consume 2-1/2 cups daily, men and teen boys, three cups. Younger children get a bit less.

    The USDA has handy charts at ChoseMyPlate.com, including the quantity of each option that constitutes a serving—1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy greens, for example.

    We’re happy to eat our green, red and orange vegetables steamed. When we have more time, we roast root vegetables.
     
    But we rarely sauté all those tasty, leafy, good-for-you “cooking greens” (as compared to salad greens).

    Our friends at Good Eggs, a premium grocery delivery service in San Francisco, nudged us a bit by sending us these tips and recipe.
     
    HOW TO SAUTÉ GREENS

    Use this sauté technique with any and all leafy cooking greens—broccoli rabe, chard, collards, kale, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens, etc.—plus garlic and onions. Sauté the greens in olive oil with the garlic and onions and you’ve got a simple, delicious side.

     
    Don’t hesitate to sauté a medley: Mixed greens give you more flavors to enjoy.

    This is your opportunity to try greens you haven’t had before. You’re bound to enjoy anything sautéed with onions and garlic.

    Ingredients

  • 1 bunch leafy greens, chopped roughly to bite size
  • 1 spring onion including the tops, thinly sliced (substitute green onion—see the differences below)
  • ½ green garlic, white and pale green parts sliced thin*
  • Pinch of salt
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Optional: pinch of chile flakes
  • ____________________
    *If you can find green garlic at a farmers market or upscale produce store, grab it. It looks like scallions (see photo above) but smells like garlic. It’s the baby plant before it matures into the papery-covered bulb of cloves. Otherwise, substitute one or two cloves of garlic, minced.

     

    Preparation

    1. COVER the bottom of a large sauté pan or skillet with olive oil, and place it over medium-heat. Add the garlic, onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions are translucent but before they turn golden brown. While the garlic and onions cook…

    2. PLACE the greens in a colander and rinse quickly with cold water. Shake off the excess but don’t worry about patting dry: a bit of water clinging to the greens will help in the cooking.

    3. TURN the heat to high, add a pinch of chile flakes, then add the greens. Once the greens are in the pan, move them around with a pair of tongs and add a pinch of salt.

    4. SAUTÉ until the greens are just tender, 2-4 minutes (taste to determine). If all of the water has evaporated before then, add a splash of water. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste.
     
    MEET THE ALLIUM GENUS

    Green onion (scallion) and spring onion are different members of the Allium genus, the “onion genus.”

  • Green onions and scallions are different names for the same species. They are either harvested very young from the regular, bulb-forming onions, or are other varieties that never form bulbs. Green onions are milder than other onion varieties; the green tops are milder than the bulbs. The bulbs can be red or white, with white being most commonly found.
  • Spring onions look similar to scallions, but have a base of small round bulbs at the base. They are planted in the fall and then harvested in the spring, hence the name. Spring onions are more intense than green onions, but milder than regular onions. As with green onions, the bulbs can be red or white.
  •   Raw  Broccoli Rabe

    Baby Red Chard

    Raw Mustard Greens
    Top: Broccoli rabe, called rapini in Italian. Center: Baby red chard. Bottom: Red mustard greens. Photos courtesy Good Eggs.

  • More confusion: new spring garlic, known as green garlic, can easily be confused with green onions. The are an immature version of the standard cured garlic bulbs (the harvested bulbs are hung up to dry). Good Eggs advises: As the bulb matures, the garlic greens die off. The mature bulbs re harvested in the fall, having developed a number of cloves surrounded by papery cellulose layers. Green garlic has a sweeter, milder flavor than when the mature, cured bulbs.
  • However, as different English-speaking countries use different words to describe something, green onions are called spring onions in the U.K. and Canada. It’s easy to determine what they are in your vocabulary: green onions have a straight bulb at the bottom, spring onions have a round bulb.
  •  
    Here are all the different types of onions.
     
    ALL IN THE FAMILY

    Well, all in the Allium genus (the family is Amaryllidaceae):

  • Chive: Allium schoenoprasum
  • Garlic: Allium sativum
  • Green onion/scallion: Allium cepa var. cepa
  • Leek: Allium ampeloprasum
  • Onion: Allium cepa
  • Shallot: Allium cepa var. aggregatum
  •   




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