Friday, October 30

Get Your Greens On

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Add some nontraditional greens to your recipes for flavor and nutrition

Just a few years ago, you may not have even heard of these unique ingredients — and certainly may not have ever tried them. By now, most of us have seen and tried most of these. Let’s expand the way they are used. Kale is not just for making chips anymore. Let the following recipes take these green ingredients from novelty to commonplace.

Gnocchi and White Cheese with Kale

Yield: 5–6 servings
  • 1 (5-ounce) container baby kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated Fontina
  • 1 (1-pound) package gnocchi, cooked
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup dry seasoned breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place kale on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Toss gently and sprinkle with half of the onion salt, half the pepper and the garlic powder. Roast for 10 minutes, toss, then roast another 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When melted, whisk in flour and cook 3 minutes. In a slow stream, add milk and cream, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the sauce coats the back of the spoon. Stir in mustard, paprika and nutmeg as well as the remaining onion salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low.
  4. In half-cup increments, add Fontina and stir until the cheese has completely melted.
  5. Place cooked gnocchi and kale in a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and stir slightly. Sprinkle Parmesan and breadcrumbs over the top and bake 17–20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving warm.

Spicy Broccoli Rabe

Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 pounds broccoli rabe, trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons light olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced, divided
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or chicken stock, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Place 1 tablespoon of the salt in a large pot of boiling water. Add broccoli rabe and cook 5 minutes or until the stems are crisp-tender. Drain immediately and plunge in a large bowl of ice water. Allow to sit 2 minutes, then drain well.
  2. Place half of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add half the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add half the broccoli rabe and half the stock. Cook 2 minutes and transfer to a serving dish. Repeat with the remaining garlic, red pepper flakes, broccoli rabe and stock. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper, tossing well, and serve warm.

Asparagus and Edamame Salad

Yield: 4 servings
  • 2 cups shelled fresh edamame
  • ½ pound medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into ⅛-inch slices on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ pound arugula
  • ½ cup shaved Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add edamame and blanch for 1 minute. Meanwhile, place asparagus in a mixing bowl. Drain and immediately pour over asparagus. Let stand for 5 minutes. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Divide arugula among four serving plates. Mound the vegetable mixture on top and garnish with shaved Parmesan. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.

Lemon-Laced Swiss Chard — Serve with roasted chicken or pork

Yield: 4 servings
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs and stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Place oil in a large skillet (with a lid) over medium-low heat. When hot, add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes. Add chickpeas and cook 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook 2 minutes longer. Add Swiss chard, cover and cook 2–3 minutes or until the leaves are wilted. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Pan-Seared Watercress

Yield: 3–4 servings
  1. 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  2. 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  3. 1½ pounds watercress, stems removed and discarded
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Place oil in a large skillet (with a lid) over medium-high heat. When hot, add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add watercress, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir, cover again and cook 1–2 minutes longer or until wilted. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve warm.

Warm Arugula Salad

Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 (15-ounce) can northern beans, drained and rinsed, divided
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups arugula, divided
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Grilled fish or slices of roasted chicken
  1. Mash ½ cup of the beans with a fork in a small bowl. Transfer to a heavy saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining beans, stock, garlic, salt and pepper. When warm, add half of the arugula along with onions, parsley, lemon juice and oil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer 2 minutes. Place the remaining arugula on serving plates. Top with the warm bean salad and then the grilled fish of your choice or chicken. Serve immediately.

About Author

Tammy Algood

Tammy Algood develops for The Tennessee Magazine recipes that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce. For more information about our recipes, contact Algood at

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