I love the farmers market, and I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic year-round market ten minutes from my house. (Woo Countryside!) One of my farmers market issues is overbuying greens. (As I typed that, this is what I heard in my head: Hi, my name is Melissa and I buy too many greens…Hi, Melissa!)
They always look so beautiful and so tasty, and and I end up coming home with bags like this:
I recently read the book An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adlar. Not a traditional cookbook, but a fantastic book about cooking and food – I highly recommend it. The author is passionate about eating well, but also eating responsibly and not wasting. One of the things she suggests is to cook veggies, like greens, as soon as you get home from the market.
Typically, I use a little bit of greens right away, then rest get all wilty in the fridge while I forget about them for a couple of days. This time, I got home from the market and started cooking. And boy, am I glad I did!
I took all three bags of greens, removed the big, tough-looking stems and gave the leaves a quick chop.
I got out my only pot that I thought would hold all the greens – a heavy enamel dutch oven-style pot. I covered the bottom of the pot with olive oil, turned the heat on medium-low and added six cloves of garlic, sliced.
Once the garlic started to turn just slightly golden brown, I turned up the heat. I added all the greens (it took several handfuls to transfer them to the pot), salt, pepper and a good amount of red pepper flakes. I like ’em spicy.
Because the pot was so full, I very carefully stirred the greens around until they were all coated in the garlicky oil. I let them go for a few more minutes, stirring a couple of times, until they cooked down to a beautifully dark green pile in the bottom of the pot.
Yum! Yum, yum, yum. The smell of the garlic, the lovely dark green color with bits of red Swiss chard stems poking out here and there….awesome.
Now, these are fabulous as is – immediately after cooking, or reheated a day or two later. But I wanted to try something different. And I just happened to have some freshly made pizza dough in the fridge.
My favorite pizza dough recipe comes from the book Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish. It’s easy, it’s consistently good, and it make an awesome thin crust pizza.
After I stretched out the pizza dough, I added a generous amount of the cooked greens (and garlic pieces).
I kept it simple. On top of the greens, I added sliced fresh mozzarella and some shredded asiago cheese, just because I happened to have it on hand. I topped it with a few shakes of red pepper flakes and popped it in the oven at 500 degrees until the crust got brown and the cheese got bubbly. I preheated the oven with my pizza stone inside to help get the bottom crust all crispy.
Pizza may, in fact, be the perfect food. And this pizza was damn near perfect, if I do say so myself (and I do!).
Do you have any tricks or tips for using all your produce before it starts wilting? Or do you have the willpower not to buy three large bags of greens at one time? Or both?