Posts Tagged ‘greens’

Homestyle Tofu with Greens

This recipe reminds us of some of our travels in China.  The dish is a classic in Sichuan cuisine, and the hotness can be varied by the amount of chili bean paste added.  The recipe is adapted from The Land of Plenty by Fuschia Dunlop.  The recipe is best cooked in a steel wok – this is a relatively cheap pan for $20-30 (no need for a pricey non-stick version).  You will need a jar of chili bean paste, which can be purchased at one of the oriental food stores in the twin cities, like United Noodles or Shuang Hur Oriental Market – we buy one called “broad bean chili paste” (we also check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain MSG – monosidum glutamate).

Serves 4 with 2 or 3 other dishes.

1 block of firm tofu (1 pound)
1-2 TBS chili bean paste
3 cloves garlic, chopped and and equal amount of minced fresh ginger
2 cups collard leaves, center ribs removed, cut into 1″ x 2″ pieces
3 baby leeks or scallions, white and green parts included, sliced in half long-ways, and then sliced diagonally into “horse ears”
1 1/3 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
1/2 tsp honey or sugar
1 tsp light soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 tsp cold water

1. Slice the block of tofu into 3/8″ thick slices, then cut these slices into pieces about 3/4″ x 1 1/2″.  Heat about 1 TBS oil on medium heat in a non-stick frypan, then fry the pieces of tofu until golden on each side.  Drain on a paper towel on a plate and set aside.  You may need to fry the tofu in several batches.

2. In a wok or heavy frypan, heat 2 TBS oil over moderate heat.  Add the chili bean paste, garlic, and ginger and fry until they are all cooked and fragrant.  Add the collards, and cook, stirring frequently for about 1 minute.  Add the the stock or water and tofu and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down slightly, add honey (or sugar) and soysauce, and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add the leeks or onions, cover and let cook for another 2-3 minutes until the leeks become slighlty tender and the liquid is reduced.  If the liquid is gone, add another 1/4-1/3 cup of liquid.  Stir a few times, reduce heat, and then scatter the cornstarch mixture in the center of the pan, stir until the sauce thickens and turn out onto a serving plate.  Serve with warm rice.

Heirloom Tomato Concassé with Wilted Swiss Chard

This recipe, by Martha Rose Shulman, is from the New York Times.  The recipe is mainly a sauce, used here for Swiss Chard, but it can also be used on pasta or rice.  The recipe calls for blanching in water, but I usually blanch by cooking in a casserole dish in a microwave for a few minutes.



  • 1 pound fresh, sweet, ripe heirloom tomatoes, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced or puréed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Several fresh basil leaves, cut in slivers or torn
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 or 2 bunches Swiss chard (about 1 1/4 to 2 pounds), stemmed (keep stems if they are wide and fleshy), leaves washed in 2 changes of water
  • Feta for garnish (optional)


1.  In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with their juices, garlic, salt, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and half the basil.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes or longer.  Stir, taste, adjust salt and add pepper.
2.  Meanwhile, wilt chard by blanching in boiling salted water for about a minute or by steaming above 1 inch of boiling water for about 2 to 3 minutes, flipping the bunch top to bottom using tongs halfway through.  Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain and squeeze out excess water, taking up the chard by the handful.  Chop coarsely.
3.  Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chard and heat through, stirring, until coated with oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove to a platter or to plates, spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle the remaining basil over the top and serve.
YIELD:  Serves 4 to 6
  • Note:  Advance preparation: The tomato concassé can be made a few hours ahead. The wilted chard will keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator.

Spinach Quiche

This quiche is delicious and a good way to use spinach.  You can also use broccoli, cauliflower, or any other green in place of the spinach – just make sure to cook the vegetables first.  Also, if you are rushed for time, you can make the quiche without a crust, a crustless quiche – just grease the pie pan and cook for 5 or 10 minutes less.  This recipe is adapted from “The Way to Cook” by Julia Child ( Knopf).

For a 9-inch quiche.

2 TBS minced green onions, shallots or leeks
2 TBS butter
10 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed, washed, blanched and chopped (see below)
Seasonings: salt (optional), 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp nutmeg
The Custard: 4 “large” eggs blended with enough milk or 1/2&1/2 or cream to make 2 cups.
1/4 cup lightly pressed down, grated cheese – Swiss, monterey jack, colby or cheddar
a 9-inch pastry shell – for the flakiest crust, Julia Child recommends pre-baking the crust, but I usually just add the filling to the raw crust and bake.  See recipe for crust below.

1. The Filling: Preheat the oven to 375F.  Saute the shallots or onions or leeks briefly in the butter, add the spinach;  stir over heat until tender.  Season, let cool, and blend in the eggs and milk.

2. Filling and baking the quiche: Reserving 2 TBS of the cheese, strew the rest in the pie pan.  Pour in the spinach-custard mixture up to 1/4 inch of the rim.  Sprinkle on the remaining cheese; bake 35 minutes until puffed and brown.

3. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes, then eat.

To blanch spinach: place spinach in a pot of boiling water for about one minute.  Remove to a colander and run cold water over the spinach to stop the cooking and set the green color.  Then with a large spoon, press the spinach in the colander to force out as much water as you can.  Then put spinach on a cutting board and chop coarsely.

Making  a Pie Crust
This crust recipe is also from the cookbook “The Way To Cook” by Julia Child (Knopf).  I always receive compliments when I use it and it is not really all that difficult.  The recipe calls for a mix of all-purpose and cake flours, but I often use only all-purpose flour and still get a good crust.

For about 1 9-inch pie shell (with a little left-over dough that you can bake separately on a cookie sheet with brown sugar on top, for a treat)
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (scooped and leveled)
½ cup cake flour
1 tsp salt
6 oz (1½ sticks) chilled, unsalted butter, quartered lengthwise and diced
¼ cup (2 oz) chilled vegetable shortening
½ cup ice water, plus a couple teaspoons more, if needed

Have all ingredients measured and ready to use.  Put the flour, salt, and diced butter in a food processor and pulse (on-off half-second clicks) 5 or 6 times to break up the butter roughly.  Add the shortening, turn on the machine, and immediately pour in the ½ cup of ice water, then pulse 2 or 3 times.  Remove the cover and feel the dough – it should look like a bunch of small lumps, and will just hold together in a mass when you press a handful together.  (It’s important not to over-mix; it should not mass on the blade of the machine).  If too dry, pulse in a  teaspoon or two of water.  From now on work rapidly to keep the dough cold and manageable.

Turn the dough out onto your work surface; press it into a rough mass.  For the final blending, rapidly and roughly, with the heel (not the palm) of your hand, push egg-size clumps of dough out in front of you in a 6-inch smear. Again, it is important not to over-mix – what you want is layers of flattened butter lumps that barely hold together – this gives the crust the flakiness.

Form the dough into a cake – it should be fairly smooth and pliable.  Put into a resealable plastic bag (e.g a Ziploc bag) and refrigerate.  Freshly-made dough should chill 2 hours at least, allowing the flour particles to absorb the liquid, as well as to firm the butter and relax the gluten.

When ready to assemble the pie, put the dough on a work surface and roll out the dough about ¼-inch thick and about 1½ inches larger than the circumference of the pie plate.  Because the dough has such a high butter content, it is important to work quickly so the butter does not soften.  If the dough loses its chill and becomes difficult to handle (i.e., soft and sticky), return to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

When pie crust has been rolled out, roll up the dough on a rolling pin and transfer to the pie dish.  Cut edge and crimp with fingers or a fork.

Pot Stickers (Chinese dumplings)

makes approx 40 dumplings

Whenever we have Chinese cabbage or Bok Choi at the farm, I think of pot stickers (fried Chinese dumplings).  These are usually served as appetizers in Chinese restaurants, but I have fond memories of eating whole plate-fuls in the night market in Taiwan.  I like to make these during a party when there are enough hands around to make assembly short work.

This is my recipe for them.  They can be fried, boiled, or steamed (only the fried ones are called pot stickers).  I’ve included recipes for two fillings, one with meat and the other vegetarian.  You can use whatever ingredients you have on hand, though they are best if there is a base of Chinese cabbage. Bok Choi or other greens.  I’ve also included my recipe for the dough skins, but you can also use pre-made eggroll or wonton wrappers from the grocery store – buy round ones.

2 ½ cups All-purpose flour
2/3 cups boiling water
1/3 cups cold water

Add boiling water to flour, mix, then add cold water.  Knead it very well (about 5 minutes) and let stand for at least 15 minutes, covered.

Meat filling:
3/4 lb. lean ground pork
10 oz bok choi or Chinese cabbage, finely chopped (about 2 cups)(or can use regular cabbage if you blanch it first)
4 oz shelled shrimp (optional)
3 dried black mushrooms, soaked and chopped
1 TBS green onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 TBS soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
¼ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
½ tsp salt

Vegetarian filling:
10 dried black or shitake mushrooms, soaked and minced
¼ lb. fresh mushrooms
12 oz. bok choi or Chinese cabbage, finely chopped (about 2 cups)(or can use regular cabbage if you blanch it first)
1 med. rib celery, trimmed peeled and finely chopped
1 TBS green onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 TBS soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 TBS canola oil
¼ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
½ tsp salt


Filling: Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl, mix well, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Wrappers: Remove dough to a floured board, knead again until smooth.  Divide off ¼ of the dough and roll it into a sausage shape, about 1 inch in diameter (set the reminder aside in a covered bowl) .  Then divide it into 10 pieces.  Flatten each piece with hand and then roll into a 2 ½” round thin wrapper with a rolling pin and a little flour.  Put about 1 TBS of filling in the center; moisten ½ of the circumference (the half towards you) of the wrapper with water and then fold over to make a half circle – pinch edges together.  I usually fold pleats on the upper layer of the wrapper when folding (3 on each side for a total of 6), but this is mainly for looks.  Carefully stretch the dumpling to make it a little longer (do this only if your are going to fry the dumplings).  Set finished dumpling on a floured surface or pastry cloth – if they stick to your surface they will rip open when you try to pick them up.

Cooking: Heat a frying pan until very hot, add 1 TBS peanut oil.  Add enough dumplings to cover bottom of pan without touching each other (about 10-12).  Fry dumplings until bottoms are golden (about 1 minute), then add about 1/3 cup water, cover and cook until the water has evaporated.  Fry one more minute, then place on a serving plate.  Now cook the rest of them!

Serving: Serve on a platter with dipping sauce and enjoy!  I usually offer two dipping sauces, one with hot pepper and one without.

Dipping Sauce:
6 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS rice wine vinegar
1 TBS toasted sesame oil
2 TBS minced scallions
2 tsp hot pepper oil or chili paste (optional)

Broccoli and Broccoli Raab on Bruschetta

This recipe is from the cookbook “Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmer’s Markets” by Deborah Madison.

This recipe is designed for Broccoli Raab, but also works for other greens such as beet greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens.

1 lb broccoli
1 large bunch broccoli raab or other greens
sea salt
2 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, 1 minced and 1 cut in half crosswise
several pinches red pepper flakes
2 TBS chopped oregano
aged red wine vinegar
4 large slices hearty country bread
1/2 to 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

1.Thickly peel the broccoli stems.  Coarsely chop the broccoli.  Coarsely chop the broccoli raab or other greens, including stems.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt, then the vegetables.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes, then scoop them into a colander to drain.  Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water.

3. Warm the 2 TBS oil in a nonstick skillet.  Add the vegetables along with a cup of the reserved cooking water, the minced garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano.  turn with tongs to mix in the garlic, then lower the heat.  make sure there’s ample liquid in the pan.  The greens shouldn’t fry, plus you’ll want the extra liquid to spoon over them.  Taste for salt, then season with a few drops of good, strong vinegar.

4. Preheat the broiler.  Toast the bread, then rub it with the halved garlic clove.  Immediately lay the cheese over the top, then broil until it begins to droop or bubble a little.  Transfer the toasts to plates, then cover them with the greens and their juices.  Add a few drops of olive oil to each, as well as any remaining pan juices.

Raw Kale Salad

From farm member, Melanie T.
Salad Ingredients:
1 large bunch of kale (cut out stems and cut kale into bite size pieces)
1 1/2 red pepper (cut into strips and then in thirds)
3 stalks celery (sliced)
1 large cucumber (peeled and sliced)
Handful of cilantro (finely chopped) and/or use any other herbs you love
Sesame seed (to taste)
Dressing Ingredients:
Juice from 1 1/2 large lemons or 3 small ones
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 ish cup raw tahini
1-3 cloves garlic or more if you love raw garlic (minced or finely chopped)
(I am somewhat guessing on the amount of soy sauce and olive oil, so feel free to change it to you meet your own tastes)
Cut stems out of the kale and discard. Cut kale into bite-sized pieces and put into a large bowl. Add fresh lemon juice, soy sauce, and olive oil and massage (grab and squeeze) the kale with your hands for about 10 or so minutes. Doing this pre-digests the kale and changes the texture and taste. When you are done massaging the kale it will be a much smaller bowl of kale and will look similar to cooked spinach (dino kale doesn’t look as much like cooked spinach as curly kale does because the leaves are much thicker). It is normal to have a good amount of juice at the bottom of the bowl after massaging it. If you want, you can add some ground flaxseed to soak up the juice and make the salad more hearty. Add garlic and tahini to taste. Finish by adding the vegetables and herbs that you cut up and the sesame seeds and enjoy! This salad will make you feel so good when you are done eating it!

Greens Braised with Ginger, Cilantro, and Rice

serves 4-6

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook “Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmer’s Markets” by Deborah Madison (2002, Broadway).  You can use any variety of greens – mustard greens, chard, beet greens, turnip greens, etc. – depending on what you have on hand and what kind of flavor you want.

2 big bunches of greens
3 TBS vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
¼ cup cooked white rice
2 TBS finely chopped ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 cup chopped cilantro stems and leaves
sea salt
plain yogurt or lemon wedges

Wash the greens well, then chop, but don’t dry them.  Heat oil in a wide heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, rice, ginger, cumin, and paprika.  Stir to coat with the oil.  Cook for 2 minutes, then add the cilantro and the greens.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, cover the pan, and cook until the volume has reduced, about 10 10 15 minutes.  Give everything a stir, then reduce the heat to low, re-cover, and cook slowly for 20 minutes.  There should be ample moisture in the pot, but check once or twice to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom.  If the pan seems dry, ad a few TBS of water.  Cook until the greens are really tender, about 10-15 minutes more.  Serve warm or at room temperature, with yogurt spooned over the top or with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Potato, Greens and Bread Soup

serves 4

This recipe is recommended by MPLS member Barbara Conti – her family likes it a lot and it’s fairly simple to make. She uses a mix of greens that she has on hand and does not peel the potatoes. The recipe is adapted from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook, by Jack Bishop (Houghton Mifflin, 1997).

4 cups packed spinach leaves or other greens
1½ pounds new potatoes, cut into ½-inch dice
4½ cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
2 cups cubed (½-inch) stale country bread
2 TBS good quality olive oil, or to taste

Place potatoes and stock in medium pot. Bring to a boil and cook briskly for 15 minutes. While the potatoes cook, prepare the greens. Remove stems, wash leaves and shake off excess water. Cut into ¾-inch wide strips. After the potatoes have cooked for 15 minutes, add the greens to the pot and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot. Continue coking until potatoes are falling apart and the greens are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the bread and cover the pot. Let sit for 5 minutes or until bread is very soft. Adjust seasonings and add hot water to thin the texture if desired. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle each with olive oil.

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