I’ve been losing my mind (and spending way too much money!) at the farmer’s market. The vast array of beautiful fruits and vegetables overwhelms me every time. Last week, the rainbow Swiss chard with its colorful stems and fan-like leaves were too tempting to resist. The watermelon radishes, which look like a rose-colored pinwheel inside, also caught my attention.
Originally, I planned to cook the Swiss chard with some smoke-roasted tomatoes, and to add the radishes to my coleslaw recipe. When it was time to prepare the greens, I decided to add a few cups of leftover coleslaw vegetables (without dressing) to the pot, too. It turned out great!
If you have some kale or spinach on hand, you can use that in addition to (or instead of) the cabbage. Mixing fresh and frozen greens also works beautifully in this versatile recipe. I love adding oil-packed, smoke-roasted or sundried tomatoes to finish the greens, but just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of lemon peel is also tasty.
Mixed Greens with Sundried Tomatoes
Makes 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large bunches Swiss chard (about 2 pounds total), cleaned, stemmed and chopped, stems reserved (see tip below)
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 small head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 small watermelon radishes, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped, smoke-roasted or sundried tomatoes and the oil
In a large, nonstick skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add Swiss chard stems, onion and carrot, and cook until onion is translucent and stems soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth or water and soy sauce, stirring to combine. Increase heat to high and bring sauce to a boil.
Decrease heat to medium-low, add Swiss chard, cabbage and radishes, if desired, and toss to mix. Cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until greens are tender. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar and black pepper. Remove from heat and serve with sundried or smoke-roasted tomatoes and a drizzle of oil.
To store fresh greens, place them, unwashed, in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible, for up to five days. The longer they are stored, the more bitter the flavor becomes. Do not wash greens before storing because exposure to water encourages spoilage.
To clean fresh greens, discard any leaves that are wilted, brown, yellowing or damaged. Immerse the greens in a sink full of water and wash well to remove sand, grit and any debris. Lift out, drain, rinse and repeat until the water is clean.
To stem, make a V-shaped cut where the stem meets the leaf. Stack leaves and coarsely chop them into 3- to 4-inch ribbons, or roll several leaves together into a cigar shape and slice into thin ribbons. Use the stems the same way you would use celery, cooking them with the onions.
The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She blogs for Vitacost.com and Momonomics.com on a weekly basis.