SPRING INTO SOME GREENS

After a seriously long and cold New York winter it is finally time to put those heavy winter jackets into storage, finish up those potatoes and winter squashes, and get some greens back in your life. New produce is flooding into your local farmers’ markets in the form of freshly harvested vegetables and greens. Check out our list of some favorite spring greens accompanied by unique and creative recipes.

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(Photo Credit: FillYourBelly.com)

Beet Greens

Many people are unaware of the delightful hearty greens that form the top half of the beet plant. These greens can be prepared using the same recipe you might already use for Swiss chard. Take a look at five creative ways to cook up your beet greens. 

Lettuce

While lettuce is traditionally reserved for salads and sandwiches, don’t hesitate to use it in a soup or as the base for a gluten-free wrap or appetizer. Check out Louisa Shafia’s recipe for Lettuce dipped in Watermelon, Mint, and Cider Vinegar Tonic in her book The New Persian Kitchen. Or make these Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps.

Mesclun

You may find a mesclun mix of arugula, leafy lettuces, and endive at your local farmers market this spring. These greens are perfect for a fresh simple salad on a warm spring day. Try making a Mesclun Salad with Goat Cheese and a Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Radish Greens

Like beet greens many people simply throw out the leafy tops to their pretty pink radishes. Fresh radish greens have a peppery flavor, and can be simply delicious when prepared correctly. Whip up a batch of Radish Leaf Pesto or test out a Rustic Radish Soup.

Spinach

This versatile green is great raw in a salad, sautéed as a side, or mixed in with a soup or grain dish. Spinach works especially well when it is sautéed with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Check out The Best Baked Spinach.  

Swiss Chard

This mild green is delicious when sautéed in white wine garlic and olive oil. It is also great in quiches and gnocchi. Don’t forget to use both the stalks and stems! Try preparing a Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup.

Turnip Greens

These greens are somewhat similar to mustard greens, and are best when  harvested young as the older leaves can sometimes take on a slightly bitter flavor. Try making these Vegetarian Turnip Greens.

Watercress

This small crisp green has a slightly bitter peppery taste. It’s a perfect addition to salads and makes a great soup. Try out this recipe for Green Onion and Watercress Soup.
 



Storing and washing spring greens can sometimes be a difficult endeavor. If left unprocessed in the fridge, a beautiful fresh bag of lettuce can turn into a wilted slimy mess in just a couple of days. Most people wash their fresh bunch of greens before storing them. To make sure you get all dirt off check out this method for washing leafy greens. For helpful tips on storing your greens and keeping them crisp, try out the bath-towel method and keep all your spring greens crispy and fresh.