Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter Greens with Maple and Sesame

I like greens.

I like kale especially, because it is the one plant my beloved and I could get to produce anything of value in our Vancouver garden. We had two kale plants in our little front yard plot, teetering between the tomatoes and the peas. They looked kind of awful and spindly, but they lived and they kept putting out their tender kale leaves all through the winter. They even survived a couple snows.

So through the summer, fall and winter, we ended up eating a lot of greens. Instead of becoming sick of them, they rather became a staple. They are the quick meal. Super, super, nutrient-rich, and easy to prepare, I like to have access to them all the time.

Here, my parents have chard in the garden, and at the farmer's market there is still fresh kale, so I am definitely not going without.

I am very fond of plain, lightly steamed greens. But this time, I was missing a certain cooked greens salad I used to get in Vancouver at Capers (now bought out by Whole Foods, sad). They have greens and sesame and I add their grain salad to it. It is toasty and ginger-spiked, chewy with wild rice and sweet with maple syrup. I think their version has some kind of seaweed too.

Winter Greens with Maple and Sesame

I used collard greens here, because that what was in the fridge, but a mixture of kales is my favorite (dinosaur, purple, and green). I also used brown rice, because (surprise!) that's what was made, and it is good, but go for the best and get some wild. The chewy texture is unrivaled.

2 bunches winter greens (mixed chard, kale, and/or collard greens)
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large nub fresh ginger, grated
1 1/2 cups cooked brown and wild rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
a few dashes sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Wash and cut out large stems from greens, set greens aside and chop stems. Heat skillet (cast iron preferred) over medium heat. Add a swirl of olive oil and heat a minute. Toss in chopped stems and agitate to coat. Cook until bright and just tender. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Add the greens and cook about ten minutes, or until tender.

When the greens are done, add the remaining ingredients and stir over heat until warmed through. Eat with an extra dash of sesame oil and toasted seeds. Enjoy!

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