Get your veg: Your best recipes for hearty greens

If sauteeing won't do it for you, how about gingery stews, coconutty purees, and tarts?


Salon Staff
March 1, 2011 6:30AM (UTC)

Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.

This week, we asked for your best dishes for hearty greens .

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THIS WEEK'S WINNER:

Indian soul food: Spicy, gingery mustard greens by Anjali Joshi: A favorite of the Punjab region of India, here is a purée of tender greens, intriguingly thickened with corn flour, and flavored and seasoned with a last-minute splash of hot, sizzling butter with garlic, chilies and ginger. (For a different version of this dish, one without the corn flour but with chickpeas and a whole mess of spices for intrigue, check out Cathy Elton's spinach and chickpea curry.)

THIS WEEK'S ALTERNATE WINNERS:

Swiss chard tart with pine nuts by Lisa Barlow: A super-easy tart where the crust kind of forms itself with some bread crumbs and the liquid from the filling mixture on top.

A love song to kale and beans by Trish O'Rourke: Greens and beans are one of the perfect pairings of the food world; in this case the kale brings the body and the spunk, meltingly soft beans the tenderness. Shave up some cheese over it all, and you have a stew as satisfying as it gets in the vegetable world.

Trini callaloo (greens and coconut milk purée) by Linda Shiue: Versions of this dish abound all over the Caribbean (and very similar cousins appear as far as Southeast Asia), but the combination of sweet, rich coconut milk and hearty greens is unforgettable, especially if they're laced with chile peppers, salt pork and crab as they are here.

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PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE HONORABLE MENTIONS

Vegan chard lasagna by Felicia Lee: Or, what to do when your spouse calls you in a panic from the doctor's office and demands you go vegan together.

Swiss chard tart ... for dessert by Lise Charlebois-Ludet: Wait, seriously? Yes, seriously. But even if you don't make this sweet fruit and vegetable pastry, do read Lise's post for other lovely things to do with Swiss chard.

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For food/botany nerds, a huge collection of gathered greens by Algis Kemezys: Living on the Bodrum peninsula in the Aegean sea, Algis spends days foraging for the famous wild greens of the area. Here are dozens of photos of them; how many do you recognize?

Brussels sprouts with buttery cheese sauce by Just Cathy: Otherwise known as "Brussels sprouts for beginners," this dish gives you tender sprouts and the unbridled pleasures of cheese and butter. Suffer no more for your vitamins!

Red wine braised greens by Suzie Q: For those who don't like hearty greens because of their bitterness, this dish uses a blend of kale, mustard and chard to complement one another's sharpness with sweetness, and cooks them all tender with the mellow flavor of red wine.

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Bean purée-stuffed "grape leaves" by Beans&Greens: True to his namesake, Salon's favorite vegan shares a twist on Mediterranean stuffed grape leaves, using collard greens as the wrapper and a fragrant, olive oil-rich purée of beans as the filling.

Shrimp-stuffed collards by Theresa Rice: Meanwhile, Theresa does things the animal-eating way, and stuffs her collard rolls with whole seared shrimp and grains.

Sautéed chard and roasted beet salad by Vivian Henoch:If you've ever wondered why these vegetables pair so well together, it might be because chard is basically the bigger, sweeter, more tender cousin of beet greens.

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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:

Over the weekend, we ran a column with an unusual idea -- toast walnuts until they're fragrant and unctuous, and then rub them over a very fine Microplane grater to turn them into feathery shards. Tuck these into a grilled cheese to accentuate and strengthen the nutty flavors in the cheese without disturbing the oozy, melty texture.

And then recently, we also enjoyed a fascinating salad -- thin slices of apples and radishes, a light, sweet and spicy vinaigrette, and sunflower seeds. The salad and the vinaigrette were lovely and refreshing, but it was the nutty, soft crunch of the seeds that brought it all together.

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So this week, we're interested in nuts (and seeds too). What are your most unusual uses or favorite ways to pair them?

Be sure to tag your posts: SKC nuts (Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you'd like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)

Scoring and winning

Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, and execution.

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