What are the most common Chinese greens, and how to cook them? We break it down, with recipes for methods like stir-frying with garlic or fermented black beans, poached and served with a drizzle of oyster sauce, and served in a rich broth.
'greens' on Serious Eats
San Francisco is a hey-why-not-try-it kind of town, and you'll see vegan sweets pop up on menus all across the city. (Because hey, why not try vegan baking?) But just because you can eat something doesn't mean you want to. And moreover, it's nice to have some choice. That's why I set out to find restaurants where you will always have a choice of vegan sweets, and where they're known to be delicious, too.
Swiss chard, spinach, and leeks mixed with ricotta, Gruyère, Parmesan, and pine nuts makes the perfect filling for a slightly virtuous, slightly decadent vegetarian puff pastry tart.
Having tried gluten-free baking myself, I can definitely say that it's not an easy thing to pull off. Without flour, it's tricky to make cake that has the right soft, airy texture or muffins with the perfect moist crumb. Luckily, San Francisco bakers are an inclusive crowd, and bakeries across the city that aren't exclusively gluten-free are turning out sweets that everyone can enjoy.
I knew going into the recipe that the bacon and butter would taste great with the greens, but the beer was a total surprise. Its beer-ness dissipates during cooking, leaving only malty sweetness and just a hint of fermented grain to the greens. It was this extra level of complexity that made these greens my favorite side of the season.
This mac contains just as much greenery as pasta. Braised collards and bok choy pair perfectly with the gooey cheddar-gruyère-parmesan mix, and the hints of soy and coconut lend rich depth. Green as it may be, this is no health food; there's bacon, heavy cream, and plenty of cheese in each and every nook and cranny.
Marcus Samuelsson's penchant for Southern American-African-Swedish fusion cuisine always makes him an interesting chef to watch. His recipe for Mac and Greens, adapted in Ellen Brown's Mac & Cheese, fits right into his oeuvre. The recipe title is apt, as his mac contains just as much greenery as pasta. Braised collards and bok choy pair perfectly with the gooey cheddar-Gruyère-Parmesan mix, and the hints of soy and coconut lend glutamate-rich depth. But don't be fooled, this is no health food--there's bacon, heavy cream, and plenty of cheese in each and every nook and cranny.
I'm not sure why steaming fish always scares me. Perhaps it's the cleanup, which too often takes longer than I'd like. But what if could find a way to steam that was actually easy, perhaps by cooking everything together on one plate?
Tofu isn't necessarily one of the mainstays of the Indian pantry but soy paneer as it's known in India does make its way into quite a few dishes, including this Saag Soy Paneer, adapted from Andrea Nguyen's Asian Tofu. The tofu here stands in as a vegan variation of traditional paneer, a squeaky, mild fresh cow's milk cheese. To mimic the texture and salty flavors, Nguyen soaks the tofu in salted water before drying and pan frying it.
Tofu isn't necessarily one of the mainstays of the Indian pantry but soy paneer as it's known in India does make its way into quite a few dishes, including this Saag Soy Paneer, adapted from Andrea Nguyen's Asian Tofu. The tofu here stands in as a vegan variation of traditional paneer, a squeaky, mild fresh cows milk cheese. To mimic the texture and salty flavors, Nguyen soaks the tofu in salted water before drying and pan frying it.
An upscale vegetarian restaurant isn't necessarily the first place you'd think to go to cure your hangover. Yet the brunch menu at Greens in San Francisco is filled with hearty (if healthy) plates of food that are fresh enough to perk up even the most downtrodden palate.
This recipe from The Art of Simple Food would convert just about anybody to Swiss chard. And while that rule could be applied to most gratins—heavy amounts of cream and cheese works wonders—Waters opts instead for a sprinkle of flour to thicken the base of milk. It keeps the taste clean and light while still bringing that stick-to-the-bones heartiness.
Here's a question for you: What do you to with all of those lovely and leafy green and magenta beet tops after you've roasted your beets? If your answer was "chucking them," well then, we've got just the recipe for you. The beauty of the beet is that it's really two vegetables in one: the sweet roots and the hearty green tops.
You'd never know that there's a salad's worth of spinach in the recipe below, unless you feel like thinking about it to put a smile on your face. Even peppery greens like arugula and mizuna play nicely with fruits and herbs. If you like to experiment with flavor combinations in your mainstream cooking life, you'll enjoy the same creativity with green smoothies.
The grits come out creamy and rich. They're the perfect base for full-flavored greens, which are boiled first then sautéed in sausage fat. Yum. Since you're already going for real grits, try to track down some good andouille, or, at the very least, another fine smoked sausage.
This five-minute stir-fry is full of the sort of punchy, sour flavors that you'd find in a bowl of tom yum soup. Matchsticks of ginger and rounds of lemongrass are browned with scallions and chiles. The shrimp are thrown in with a mix of fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. It's ideal for those evenings when you're craving something a bit out of the ordinary, flavor-wise but don't really feel like spending an hour-plus on it. On the table in just about 20 minutes and served with a bowl of steamed rice, these prawns will beat the pants off Thai takeout any day.
This Bread and Onion Panade with Spicy Greens from Faith Durand's Not Your Mother's Casseroles takes crisp cubes of sour dough and layers them with sticky sweet caramelized onions, bitter spicy greens, and nutty shredded gruyère. Once the casserole is assembled it's doused with warm chicken stock and baked until the top is bubbly brown, and the greens on the surface are just short of charred.
Italian Egg-Drop Soup, adapted from Eating Well, should start your resolution in the right direction. Surprisingly hearty and super delicious, it's also a powerhouse of fiber and protein that comes together in under 30 minutes. Not to mention, it will feed an invading army of lifestyle changers.
This festive recipe makes a fitting holiday side dish. You can prepare it through step three a day in advance. Reheat the components separately and combine them shortly before serving.
I'm enamored with at least a few aspects of Southern cuisine. One, pork in everything. Two, slow-cooked greens. And three, pecan pie. I've included two of the three here in this somewhat rowdy risotto dish that's left its Italian heritage far, far behind.