Many of my patients ask me how to cook vegetables, especially greens, in a way that makes them taste delicious. So, how do you make bitter tasting leafy greens actually delicious?
Dark leafy greens are considered a power food by many. Not only are they a great source of fiber, but also minerals (potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, selenium, iron, copper), vitamins (K, C, A, riboflavin, ), and antioxidants (polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids). Consuming greens frequently has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and mental decline.
One of my favorite techniques is braising. Braising is a combination cooking method that uses both dry and wet heats. You start by sautéing or searing the greens at a medium-high temperature. Then you finish them over low-medium heat by adding some amount of liquid and covering the greens until they are ready to be devoured. This cooking technique is amazing for any type of green you may find at your local farmers' market. Think mustard greens, beet greens, kale, chard, dandelion greens, and collard greens too!
Wash leaves of greens carefully and remove stems. Discard stems unless you are using chard. Chop leaves into 1-2" pieces. Chop chard stems into 1/4" slices.
Heat large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add oil. Sauté chard stems for 1-2 minutes if using. Add green leaves and toss with oil. Sauté over medium heat until the leaves start to turn a bright green.
Mix together tamari and water and pour into skillet. Cover skillet with a lid. Decrease heat to low-medium. Cook until leaves are tender, 4-6 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Taste for doneness. Greens should be tasty and not bitter. Greens should be green and not gray.
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