Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wilted Greens

I used my last harvest of swiss chard from our garden to make this recipe for Thanksgiving. It made a great bed of greens to serve the other things with. You can use any type of green that is typically cooked such as collard, beet, dandelion (quite bitter), kale, mustard, turnip. The greens should be more robust than delicate greens such as lettuce or spinach. For greens that are pungent, like mustard and dandelion, a little sweetener in the dressing helps soften their strong taste. For greens that are hardy but not pungent, a salty and savory flavoring works well.

25-30 large, hardy, dark green vegetable leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt
1 to 2 teaspoons raw agave syrup, date sugar, or maple sugar (not raw)--use the sweetening only for pungent greens only
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (use for less pungent greens only)
2 tablespoons raw walnut oil or extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil

Wash and dry the greens and cut out any hard stems. Arrange the leaves in stacks, using 4-5 leaves per stack. Roll up each stack tightly like a cigar, then thinly slice the rolls crosswise into strips (this is known as chiiffonade). Place the strips in a bowl and sprinkle them with the sea salt. Toss the greens and massage and squeeze them with your hands for several minutes until they soften and begin to get juicy.

Add either agave syrup or lemon juice, depending on how pungent or mild the greens are, and toss thoroughly. Let rest at room temperature for 1 to 3 hours to soften and develop some liquid. If time is limited, toss and massage the greens gently with a wooden spoon every few minutes; they will be ready in 10 15 minutes. Just before serving, add the oil and toss. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.

Raw Food Celebrations by Nomi Shannon & Sheryl Duruz

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