(Almost) Free Greens

If you love greens as much as I do, you probably pick them up weekly at the grocery store or farmers’ market. I usually get at least one or two bunches a week of kale, spinach, chard, or other greens. Today I want to let you in on a little secret that you may not have discovered for yourself yet. When you buy root vegetables with the greens on, do you discard the greens?

Did you realize that every time you buy beets or turnips at the farmers’ market, you essentially get two vegetables in one? I almost always cook the greens in addition to the root, which reduces waste and saves me money. I have found that while some greens work better with certain flavors than others, I can usually swap the greens called for in a recipe for whatever I have on hand.

Turnip greens are surprisingly delicious, and beet greens are both tasty and attractive on the plate. As with all leafy greens, these taste great simply sauteed in oil with fresh garlic, salt and pepper. A little vinegar added to the pan toward the end of cooking helps cut the bitterness of most greens.

Next time you are at the market, select produce with bright, crisp greens and you will enjoy two vegetable side dishes for the price of one. If you need ideas for preparation, here are a few of my favorite greens recipes. It is okay to substitute root vegetable greens for all of these recipes, and they should still turn out fantastic.

Vegetarian Collard Greens

Mediterranean Braised Chard (sub capers for anchovies)

Beer-Braised Turnip Greens

Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans & Tomatoes

What is your favorite way to prepare greens?

2 thoughts on “(Almost) Free Greens

    • Plain old salad can be pretty great too! You should try the hippie greens at Lamplighter – they would be perfect for you.

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