Technique for Cooking Greens—Italian Style
This is meant as a technique for preparing the many of the greens at the farm. Change up the greens and other ingredients based on your taste preference and/or what you have on hand. This is a great way to use the tops from turnip and radishes. If you want the dish to be vegan, simply omit the shrimp, use water instead of chicken stock, and don't add the cheese at the end; the results will be just as delicious without animal products.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
12-16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 thinly sliced onion
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
chicken stock as needed—1/2 cup or so should be enough
10-12 cups roughly chopped mixed greens—kale, Swiss chard, dandelion, spinach, arugula, mizuna, bok choy, vitamin green are all greens that work well. This is also a great way to use turnip tops, radish tops, and beet tops. If using kale, collard, or sensposai, remove thick stems and discard or save for soup. If using vitamin green, bok choy, and/or chard, remove the stalks, chop them and keep separate because they take a little longer to cook.
Other vegetables, optional
- eggplant, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- green beans, can be left whole
- grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
The following are all optional—use 1 or all of these:
1 can cannelini beans (optional)
fresh basil and/or parsley
freshly grated parmesan cheese
toasted pine nuts
Cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta
Start heating a large saute pan, and add olive oil—1-2 tablespoons. When oil is heated, add the shrimp. Cook for 1 minute per side and remove from pan. Add a bit more olive oil and add the onions and saute until just beginning to brown. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about a minute—do not let the garlic turn brown or it will become bitter.
Add the white wine and let it cook down for a minute—scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Add next ingredients in order of needed cooking time, adding a little chicken stock if pan begins to get dry—do not make this into a soup, you just need enough liquid to help the ingredients cook evenly and keep them from sticking to the pan. Your preference on doneness also dictates time in the pan. Add eggplant, greenbeans, and stalks from bok choy, vitamin green and/or chard together and saute for about 3-5 minutes. Don't be shy about taking a piece out of the pan and checking for texture. If you prefer kale and collards cooked thoroughly, add them at this point in the process.
Now add greens in order of "sturdiness." Kale and/or collards first, along with the radish or turnip tops, saute for a couple of minutes, then add the senposai, vitamin green, bok choy and chard greens, along with beet greens if using, next. Again, let the combination cook, stirring frequently for a couple more minutes, adding a couple tablespoons of chicken stock if needed.
If desired, add any of the following: cannelini beans, shrimp, and/or tomatoes, along with the more tender greens (the ones that just need to wilt): chard, mizuna, dandelion, arugula, and spinach. Just heat through. Remove from heat.
Add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, basil, and parsley. Mix well. Place pasta or rice in individual bowls and top with the greens mixture.
Top each serving with a combination of basil, parsley, parmesan cheese, and/or toasted pine nuts.