Turnip Greens

When I think of greens, I am immediately transported to the south. Hot days, cypress trees towering over slow moving rivers, the smell of fried chicken and barbecue, and a little bit of banjo music come to mind. While a lot of southern food tends to be infamously unhealthy due to their involvement with a deep fryer, greens are full of good stuff, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium and potassium. 

Not only are turnip greens nutritionally dynamite, they are easy to grow, and keep coming back. In fact, you could cut leaves off while waiting for the turnip root to be sizable enough to eat, and not harm the root growth. Leaves keep coming back throughout the growing season. Keep in mind that hotter weather will yield a stronger, more bitter flavor, and overnight temperatures into the 40s bring out a sweeter flavor. Turnip greens can be canned for enjoyment throughout the winter, but cook down significantly, so you will need a lot for a batch in the canner. 

Turnip greens are incredibly fibrous, so they have to be cooked a long time to be palatable. We opted to cook them in a pressure cooker, which worked incredibly well, and only took ten minutes after it came up to pressure. The popular “instant pot” would work the same, although I don’t have one, so I don’t have wisdom on how to set it up. 


Carolina cooked greens

1 lb turnip greens
1/2 onion, diced
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tsp granulated or 2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
6 pieces bacon, finely chopped

  • Wash leaves, then de-stem. Rough chop leaves. 
  • Sweat onions in butter. Add all ingredients except bacon to pressure cooker. 
  • Cook ten minutes once unit is up to pressure. 
  • Use quick release method once cooking is complete. 
  • While greens cook, fry bacon in pan. Spoon greens and onion into pan with bacon. 
  • Stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. 
  • Serve with your favorite southern meal. 

Teriyaki Stir Fry

This dish continues to help use that old salmon, is amazing with fresh salmon, and is good in the winter with whatever veggies you can get your hands on. While we usually do salmon, you can add your choice of meat, and we always serve it over rice.


Teriyaki sauce

1/2 cup soy

Tbsp sesame oil 

Tbsp rice wine vinegar

Tsp granulated garlic

Pinch pepper

Pinch red chili flakes

Tsp granulated ginger

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp honey 

1 tsp cornstarch mixed in 1/2 cup water
Bring all but cornstarch water mixture to a simmer. Add cornstarch water slowly, stirring. Once mixture is back up to a simmer, turn it off. It will thicken. 

Stir fry

1 Zucchini cut into 1/8 inch thick half moons

1/2 head Bok choi, coarsely shredded

1/2 yellow Onion, sliced 1/8 inch thick

2 tbsp canola


Bring pan to high heat, add oil. Once oil is hot, Sauté zucchini and onion for one minute, turn heat down to medium. Add bok choi. Sauté on medium for one minute, then turn heat off. Add 1/3 of sauce to veggies. Toss everything together in the pan. It will still be hot enough to get some simmer, which is exactly what you want. The rest of the sauce can be used on the salmon and rice as needed.  

Korean Pork Lettuce Wraps

You are going to want to grab this week’s pickled radishes to garnish this! The recipe has a few options to prepare the meat depending on how well your kitchen is equipped. We use the kitchen aide attachment to grind the meat, but you can use ground pork and it will still turn out great. 
I also want to discuss some slightly more specialized ingredients we used. They are widely available and easy to find at your local grocery store, but may not be something you always have on hand. Of all the ingredients, sesame oil adds the most distinctive Asian flavor. It can be substituted with canola oil. Rice wine vinegar fits the Asian profile the best, but if you have trouble finding it don’t be afraid to use white wine vinegar. Mirin is a rice wine used to help round out the acidity and add a bit of sweet. You find it on the grocery store shelf in the Asian section. If you don’t have it, omit it from the glaze. While it adds good flavor, it isn’t going to ruin your dish to leave it out. 

Serves 4 

Korean Pork marinade 

2 lbs pork sirloin ( or other lean cut) 

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

Honey ginger glaze

1/4 cup soy

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp mirin

1/2 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp ground ginger

3 tbsp honey

Meat seasonings

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dry cilantro

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Greens

2 cups bok choy, shredded

2 stalks green onion

1 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp sesame oil

Plating

8 Bibb or Romaine lettuce leaves

Pickled radishes

Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Korean pork marinade (skip this step if you are using ground pork)

Cut pork into 1 inch cubes. Mix all liquids, add pork. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Grind the pork using the small die. 
Honey Ginger Glaze

Combine everything. Cook over medium heat until boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Meat

Brown pork with seasonings (salt, ginger, cilantro). After cooked through, deglaze the pan with rice wine vinegar. Add 1/4 of the honey ginger glaze. Let cool for 5 minutes. 

Greens

In a separate pan, cook greens (except lettuce) in oil until wilted, about two minutes. 

Plating

On serving plates, lay out lettuce leaves. Layer meat and greens. Garnish with pickled radishes. Drizzle with glaze. Sprinkle sesame seeds. 

Pasta Amatriciana With Beet Greens

IMG_0216

Ama- what? It’s a red sauce that’s slightly spicy. And it has bacon. I’m sure there is scientific research out there that says bacon makes everything better. This dish is no exception. The beet greens aren’t just a way to throw something fresh into a pasta dish, their flavor becomes a cornerstone of this fantastic dish.

When we made it, we used 4 cheese tortellini from Costco, but you can use whatever pasta you have on hand. Top suggestions are spaghetti or penne. If you want to get adventurous, look for bucatini.

Serves 6

5 slices of bacon (no flavored bacon, a little smoke is fine), sliced into 1/4 inch wide slivers
1 lb Your choice of pasta
Half a yellow onion, diced
2 cloves minced or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dry oregano
Several pinches salt
Several pinches pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper
2 cans crushed tomato
1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Mushrooms (optional), quartered
2 tablespoons butter
12 oz beet greens chopped in 1 inch slices
Parmesan to finishIMG_0210

Sauté bacon on medium low heat. Once thoroughly cooked, remove and set aside.IMG_0209

Start water for pasta. Keep working on the sauce while preparing pasta according to directions.

Sweat (low heat sauté) onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, a pinch of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper 15 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add crushed tomatoes. Add balsamic vinegar. Simmer for 15 minutes uncovered.

IMG_0212In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms and beet greens in butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Greens will wilt down quite a bit. Once sauted, add into the red sauce. Keep on low heat until ready to serve. Add half of the bacon, the rest is saved for garnish.IMG_0213

Serve sauce over pasta, finish with the rest of the bacon and parmesan.