I have always been a huge fan of greens. As a kid, one of my favourite jobs in our family’s large vegetable garden was thinning the beets because I knew it meant later that day I’d get to enjoy a dish of steamed beet greens with tender baby beets attached. My mom always dresses greens very simply, with a little butter and vinegar; while I still adore them that way, I’ve come to appreciate how versatile they can be. The great thing about buying vegetables at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market is they typically come with the greens attached, which is why I was inspired to create this dish. A big shout out to Farmers’ Feast contributors the Beet Box for the organic collard greens, beets and basil as well as Luxy farms for the Hakurei turnip greens. This Asian-influenced preparation adds a ton of flavour to summer greens and takes just minutes to make.
- Five or six large collard greens (leaves)
- 2 handfuls turnip greens, spinach or Swiss chard
- 2 handfuls beet greens
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) canola or sunflower oil
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) chili paste, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) tamari (or soy sauce if gluten is not an issue)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) white sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) fish sauce
- Handful fresh basil
- Big lime wedges, for garnish
- Soak greens in a sink filled with water to be sure they are very clean. Give them a shake as you pull them out of the water but there’s no need to spin or pat them dry as they extra bit of water will help them cook more quickly.
- Remove the stems from the collard greens and chop them into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) pieces. Coarsely chop the collard leaves, keeping the stems and leaves separate.
- In a very large skillet (a wok is ideal), heat the canola and sesame oils over medium heat
- Add chopped collard stems; cover and let them cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped collard leaves and let them cook about 8 – 10 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. You want them to be tender but not mushy.
- While the collards are cooking, coarsely chop the turnip and beet greens.
- Remove the lid from your sauté pan and add chopped turnip greens and beet greens. Stir to coat with oil in pan.
- Combine the chilli paste, soya, sugar and water and drizzle over greens.
- Make a well in the centre of the pan and add the minced garlic. Let cook 2 – 3 minutes then stir to combine with greens.
- When beet greens are wilted remove the pan from the heat and add fish sauce; stir to blend.
- Divide sautéed greens among two plates; garnish with chopped basil and a lime wedge.
Serves 2; can easily be doubled or tripled.