It's an unfortunate winter truth that when the tender lettuces of spring seem farthest away, I begin to crave all things green. The rich foods of December leave me with a strong desire to bury my face in a huge bowl of perfect salad all January long. But while the green leaves of spring lettuce are indeed a season off, that doesn't mean my cravings have to wait too. Here, just in time for the January blues, are 15 ways to eat the greens you crave.
Winter is high season for the stronger greens, like chard and kale, that grow robustly through the icy temperatures in cold frames or even outdoors. The best kale I ever ate was from my garden, where it somehow survived an ice storm and perked back up, proudly sweet and green, right in the snow.
If you're lucky enough to have sheaves of strong, bitter winter greens in your kitchen right now, here are 15 favorite ways to tuck in. They range from just adding them to other favorite dishes (pasta with greens, hurray!) to recipes like collard stew that let these greens stand proudly on their own.
• 1 Pizza with Crispy Kale, Butternut Squash, Bacon & Smoked Mozzarella
• 2 Kale, Bacon and Egg Sandwich
• 3 Fried Eggs and Collard Greens over Polenta
• 4 Open-Faced Ravioli with Poached Egg, Wilted Greens, and Brown Butter-Lemon Sauce
• 5 Bean, Bacon and Butternut Squash Soup with Swiss Chard
• 6 Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Raw Beets and Goat Cheese
• 7 Collard Greens Stew with Chorizo & Garlic
• 8 Grilled Bitter Greens Salad with Roasted Beets, Spiced Pecans & Roquefort
• 9 Kimchi Fried Rice with Extra Greens
• 10 Ham Bone, Greens, and Bean Soup
• 11 Thai Stir-Fried Greens
• 12 Crispy Pan-Fried Beans and Wilted Greens
• 13 Chicken and Swiss Chard Pasta Bake
• 14 Sukuma Wiki (African Braised Kale with Tomatoes)
• 15 Fettucini with Balsamic Delicata Squash & Bitter Greens
What's your favorite way to eat greens in the wintertime? Do you look for overwintered ice spinach or kale at the winter market? Or do you gravitate towards the rough and robust greens of collards and turnip tops?
(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)