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A Flavorful Recipe with Leafy Greens to Try

April 16, 2024

There are many delicious, leafy greens to enjoy all year round. Packed with nutrients and fiber, leafy greens are often the side dish of choice for practically any meal in traditional Greek cuisine. The classic method of cooking them is probably the simplest, just boil or steam and serve with a drizzle of Greek extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Leafy greens can also be the star ingredient in various recipes, including savory pies, side dishes, or vegetarian main courses.

Leafy Greens with Rice and Veggies

1 bunch leafy greens, such as Swiss chard or collard greens

4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups cooked beans, such as white beans or chickpeas

Set a pot of water to boil as you prepare the vegetables. Rinse the leafy greens and remove the tough stems from the collard greens, if using. Chop into 1-inch pieces. Add a pinch of salt to the pot of boiling water and add the chopped greens, cook for about five minutes then remove from heat and drain. In a separate large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the carrots, celery, red and green peppers, the salt, cumin and freshly ground pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables have released their flavors and are slightly softened. Stir in the cooked greens and sauté. Add the cooked rice and the cooked beans and stir to combine well. Remove from heat and serve immediately as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish.

To cook the rice, bring 3 and 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, add 1 and 1/2 cups white rice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stir. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow the rice to absorb the water. To cook brown rice, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in 1 and 1/2 cups brown rice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the brown rice absorbs the water.

To cook dried beans or chickpeas, rinse and sort the beans and then soak them overnight in a large, deep pot with enough water to cover them by two inches at least. After 6-8 hours of soaking and when you are ready to cook them, drain the soaking water and refill the pot with fresh, cold water enough to cover the beans by at least two inches. Bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce to medium and simmer, skimming and discarding the foam that may form on top. After about 30 minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste. Continue cooking until beans are cooked completely, but not disintegrated.


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