Monday, June 4, 2012

Turnip Greens - good and good for you

During the winter I am very good about making a menu for the week. It helps with shopping and cooking during our busy lives, saves money, reduces waste, and aligns my otherwise scattered brain. But then summer hits, with the loveliest of produce coming into the markets and CSA shares, and my menu planning hibernates. I find myself dumping vegetables into my bags with little thought to when exactly we'll eat them, but knowing that when we do, they will be the heart of our meal, around which we'll build dinner.

This past Saturday was the opening day of our summer farmers' market. We are incredibly fortunate to have an amazing all-winter farmers' market full of root veggies, cold frame greens, brussels sprouts, cheeses, breads, etc., but there really is nothing like a summer market. It was raining sideways but Dave and I bribed the kids with a movie afterwards, bundled up in ponchos and headed down to make the opening bell. It felt like a homecoming, welcoming back old friends we hadn't seen all winter, emptying our wallets as we stuffed our bags with the perkiest lettuces, magenta radishes, strawberries, rhubarb, and turnips.

We enjoy turnips around our house, so get them all summer long. They come with gorgeous greens, which, in the beginning of the season, we keep on and pretend we'll eat. Midway through the summer we admit we are tired of cleaning slimy remnants out of the fridge drawer and ask the farmers to cut the greens off when we buy them.

It being the first market, we kept the greens and made a promise that they would be eaten that day or discarded. So we ate them, and wow! are they good. They are chock full of calcium and other important vitamins, so this is a win-win meal.

Sautéed Turnip Greens

1 bunch turnip greens
3 TBSP olive oil, separated
1 shallot, minced (~ 1 TBSP)
salt and pepper to taste
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

1. Wash greens and set aside.

2. Heat a large sauté pan that has a cover over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 TBSP olive oil and the shallot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Add greens, turn a few times, adding 1 TBSP more olive oil on top. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Take off heat, drizzle with balsamic and stir.

Serve as a side to a sandwich or with eggs or just as is.