The Hand Off: Warm Gingery Greens with Quinoa
By Brianna Bain
As mentioned in Tuesday’s post this pile of greens took some creative action in the kitchen to avoid running the risk of spoiling in the shadows of neglect. I dove right in and managed to organize a meal for every night of the week that effectively chipped away at what was eventually 8 bags of greens! Just when I thought I could see the light a the end of this green tunnel, guess who showed up? That’s right – Katherine, bearing yet another basket overflowing with greens. I accepted the offering with a twinkle in my eye and continued on the challenging quest of creating even more exciting ways to eat my greens. As a result of this abundant supply I have added greens to things I might not ever suggest to others. Surprisingly things always turned out great! Okay, some good, some great.
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The recipe that I am sharing with you today is a great one – no doubt. In fact it was so great I have made it three times since. This meal left little to clean, plates and pan were scraped to the last quinoa seed. Much like Marc’s Ribollita this meal uses inexpensive and readily available ingredients in an unusual blend that may change the way you feel about all those greens at your market or in your CSA box. Under the pressure to use the overwhelmingly large amount of greens, I was motivated to mix several of them together – something I had not tried at this scale before. To avoid the childhood images of a hot mushy pile of greens I added Bob’s Red Mill organic quinoa for a boost of protein and texture, sweet pearl onions from Katherine’s garden, some locally grown crimini or baby bella mushrooms from Mountain Meadow Mushrooms in Escondido, CA and a few spices to turn up the flavor for a complete meal or side dish.
Warm Gingery Greens with Quinoa
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
- 1 bunch collared greens, chopped
- 1 bunch spinach, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms (baby portabellas), sliced
- 6 pearl onions, sliced or minced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 Tbs ginger, minced
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 Tbs Bragg’s liquid aminos
- 1/2 Barris lime juice (juice of any lime or lemon will do)
- 1 tsp (or less) agave nectar
- salt to taste
- Chop pearl onions and put in wok or large skillet over medium heat with 1/4 cup of broth or water for 5 minutes.
- Add quinoa, 2 cups of broth and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil then turn heat down and cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Chop greens into bit sized pieces, set aside.
- Slice mushrooms and mince ginger, set aside.
- Juice 1/2 of a lime, set aside.
- Once quinoa is tender add cayenne and ginger. Stir and let simmer for a few minutes.
- Add sliced mushrooms to quinoa, stir and let sit for a 2 minutes.
- Add rice wine vinegar and Braggs, lime juice and agave nectar, stir.
- Add chopped greens and remaining broth if needed, mix well while cooking over med to low heat until greens are wilted or cooked to desired tenderness.
- Remove mixture from heat and serve immediately.
I like my greens with just a little chew or even a slight crunch left in the chard stems. I kept a close eye on the greens, really stirring them while over the heat to avoid a total mushfest! Cooking them a little less than all the way through will also give the dish more eye appeal, with more structure and presence on the plate. My addition of mushrooms and quinoa are really just the beginning of what could be added to this melange of greens. I imagine other slightly cooked vegetables like broccoli, red pepper, watercress, and bean sprouts would all be delicious additions to the flavors I have presented here. What would you add? Leave me a comment, tell me about your winter greens creations!