Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Greens & Parsley from
the Barren County Farmers' Market




Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

There are many types and varieties of greens rainging from mild tasting to ones that are pungent and have quite a bite. All of them offer good nutrition with a lot of taste.

Many greens are wonderful raw. While most people are familiar with raw spinach as a salad green, arugula, mizuna, dandelion greens, endive, bok choy and escarole are all great raw options.

You can use them in sandwiches, mixed green salads, fruit salads or as a bed for almost any warm salad. They can be coarsely chopped and added to pasta salad just like basil or parsley.

Selecting a quality product

Fresh leafy greens are available year-round, but, like most produce, they do have their peak seasons.

Collards, kale, turnip greens and mustard greens are at their best from October through early spring.

Swiss chard, spinach and beet greens are best from the spring through the fall. Dandelion greens are available and best in the spring and summer.

When shopping, always look for crisp leaves with a fresh green color. Stems should appear freshly cut, the leaves should be crisp and the color should be bright and alive. Yellowing is a sign of age and indicates that the greens may have an off flavor. One pound of untrimmed greens will typically serve two people. While this may look like a lot when raw, most greens cook down considerably.

Tips on Storage

Most greens can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Wrap collards, spinach or kale in a damp towel and place in an open plastic bag in the crisper drawer (or coldest section) of your refrigerator. Store chard, escarole, chicory, rabe and mustard greens in a perforated plastic bag. All cooking greens will lose their crispness in the refrigerator. Tender, delicate leaves (such as beet greens) wilt very quickly, so use them as soon as possible or purchase them on the day you plan to prepare them.

To prepare greens for washing, cut off the stems and discard any bruised leaves. For greens with tough stems, such as collards, mustard and kale, cut off the stem backbone, which can be quite tough. You can do this easily by folding the leaf in half and sliding a paring knife along the back part of the stem. Some types of greens, such as chard, bok choy, turnip and beet, have tender stems which can be eaten along with the leaves.

Wash the greens and edible stems in a sink full of water to remove dirt and sand. Bunches of greens that are especially sandy may require several soakings. Bumpy places on the leaves can hold bits of sand, so be thorough even if the greens look clean. Change water and wash till your water is clear. Drain the greens in a colander and chop or slice them according to your needs.

Tips on cooking and serving

Raw:
Many greens are wonderful raw. They can add a delicious crunch as a sandwich topper replacing lettuce. They can be coarsely chopped and added to pasta salad just like basil or parsley. Use a mixtre of colors, tastes and textures to create salads that are delicious as well as appealing.

Wilting:
Gently wilting greens brings out their sweeter flavor while keeping a hint of their firm texture. Use only the more tender varieties of greens, such as beet greens, spinach or mizuna. Tougher greens will not cook thoroughly.

    There are two simple ways to wilt greens:
  1. Pour boiling water over the greens and drain immediately.
  2. Stir the greens into a dish that contains food that is already warm, such as pasta or potatoes.

Steaming
Steaming is a simple method of preparing greens that is not only low fat but allows their individual flavor to come through. Depending on the greens, steaming can take anywhere from five to ten minutes. You can steam in a traditional steamer or just steam greens in a sauté pan with a small amount of water added to the bottom of the pan.

Boiling
Boiled greens are a Southern tradition. Boiling works best with the toughest greens, such as turnip or collards. Ham hocks, pieces of bacon or other types of fat meat, are common. Simply add washed, chopped greens to boiling salted water, along with your choice of flavoring, and cook until the meat is done. The greens do not need to be cooked this long but that is how it is traditionally done in the South. YOU CAN cook the meat ahead of time and cook the greens only till they are tender, usually about 15 to 20 minutes. Boiled greens are often seasoned with vinegar or hot sauce at the table.

Braising
Braising allows you to add your choice of flavoring to the greens as they cook. Braising is similar to steaming only with flavors added such as broth, olive oil or other fat or onion and other vegetables.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health! Eat 5 A Day for Good Health! Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

 

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health! Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!




Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Although there are more than 30 varieties of parsley, Italian Parsley is favored by both professional cooks and home cooks alike. It was the Romans who were the first to consume the herb in large quantities. A slightly stronger flavored herb than the more familiar varieties of parsley, Italian- or Flat - Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Considered a medicinal herb as well as, Italian Parsley has several benefits other than just an attractive garnish.

Parsley, Petroselinum crispum, is one of the most popular green herbs. The mature seed is steam distilled to produce parsley seed oil. The root may also be harvested for use as a medicinal herb.

It was used by the Romans as a remedy for epilepsy, water retention and fresh breath. The superstitious Europeans at one stage viewed it with unease and believed that it should only be planted on Good Friday to appease evil spirits, although the German abbot and herbalist, Hildegard of Bingen, prescribed parsley compresses for arthritis, or boiled in wine for chest and heart pain. Culpepper used it internally for problems with "urine, wind, kidney stone and cough", and compresses to help bruising and inflamed eyes.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Over and above the medicinal use of parsley, it has some good breath deodorizing properties, and for this reason people normally have fresh parsley after having a garlicky meal, since it helps to freshen the breath. It is the good amount of chlorophyll contained in the leaves that has this breath freshening action. Many people who find a sprig of parsely garnishing their meal will eat it afterwards for their breath.

Selecting a quality product

Look for full bright-green leaves with a fresh scent. Avoid wilting, yellowing or black leaves.

Tips on Storage

Rinse bunches under cold water and shake dry. Wrap in a paper towel and place in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator for up to one week or more.

Tips on cooking and serving

When ready to use, pull or cut off leaves. Use whole for garnish. Mince or chop when adding to recipes.

If using medicinally, check with your Physician first.




Recipes

Basiled Beet Greens with Sesame Seeds

1 sweet onion, minced
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1 tbsp butter
1 pound beet greens, washed and stemmed
3 tbsps fresh basil, minced
1 tbsp of sesame seeds, toasted

Combine the onions, stock and butter in a pot large enough to hold the greens. Cook until the onions are soft. Add the beet greens and basil and cook only until the greens are wilted and tender. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve at once.




Chili-Garlic Mustard Greens

4 tbsp olive oil
1 lbsp mustard greens, washed and chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili pepper, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp white vinegar 1 tsp sugar

Salt & pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the greens, and stir vigorously for 1 minute, or until they have changed to a bright green color. Add garlic, chili and ginger, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add vinegar and sugar, remove from heat and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve at once. Yield: 4 servings.




Turnip Greens And Cornmeal Dumplings

Yield: 8 Servings

1 1/2 pound ham hock
2 qts water
1 bunch (about 3 pounds) turnip greens with roots, cleaned
1 tsp salt
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
1 egg, beaten
All-purpose flour

Wash ham hock, and place in an 8-quart Dutch oven; add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until meat is tender. Peel turnip roots, and cut in half. Add turnip greens, turnip roots, and 1 teaspoon salt to Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 2 hours or until greens and roots are tender. Combine cornmeal and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix well. Stir in boiling water. Add egg, and mix well. Drop cornmeal mixture by tablespoon mixture by tablespoonfuls onto a well floured board, and roll in flour. Place dumplings over hot turnip greens; cover and cook over medium heat 15 minutes. Serve immediately with turnip greens and pot likker.




Crustless Greens Pie

Yield: 6 Servings

1 1/2 lbs swiss chard
1/2 lb arugula
3/4 lb dandelion greens
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion; finely chopped
2 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 sm yellow pepper; seeded and finely chopped
2 sm zucchini; grated
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 extra large eggs; lightly beaten
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated jarlsberg cheese
1/4 c fresh bread crumbs

Trim the chard, arugula and dandelion greens. Discard the stems and chop the leaves. Preheat the oven to 375F. Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter with the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook one minute. Add the garlic and cook one minute longer. Stir in the pepper, chard, arugula, dandelions, zucchini, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook covered, over medium heat, until very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the cover and cook, stirring frequently, until all liquid has evaporated, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Beat the eggs into the greens and pour the mixture into a buttered 9-inch glass or ceramic quiche pan. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and Jarlsberg cheeses.

Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the bread crumbs and saute until golden. Spoon them over the pie. Bake 25 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves six.




Parsley Scone

4 servings

2 oz bacon
8 oz self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 oz butter
4 oz cheese
1/4 pint milk
1 tbsp ketchup
Worcester sauce
1 tbsp parsley, fresh chopped

Grill or fry bacon until crisp and cut into pieces. Sift together the flour and the salt, and cut in the butter. Add 3 ozs. of the cheese, all the chopped bacon and all the chopped parsley. Mix together the milk, ketchup and worcester sauce, and add to the dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough and roll out on a floured surface to a 7 inch round. Brush with milk, sprinkle with remaining cheese and mark into 8 wedges. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes.




Beef Stew With Parsley Dumplings

Yield: 4 Servings

1 lb lean beef stew meat; cut into 1 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp thyme
3 med onions; quartered
3 lg carrots; sliced
1 bay leaf
1 cup water or beef broth
* Parsley Dumplings; * recipe below

Dredge beef in flour; brown in deep heavy skillet in hot oil; stir in ginger and thyme. Add onions, carrots, bay leaf, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover; simmer 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Discard bay leaf. Drop tablespoons of dumpling batter onto hot stew. Cover; cook 12 to 15 minutes until pick inserted in dumplings comes out clean.

* PARSLEY DUMPLINGS *

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 egg, slightly beaten

In medium bowl, mix flour, parsley, baking powder, and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients just until blended.




Chimichurri - Argentine Spiced Parsley Sauce

Yield: 2 servings

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup onions; finely chopped
1 tsp garlic; finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley; finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

In a bowl, combine the oil and vinegar, and beat them together with a whisk or fork. Stir in the onions, garlic, parsley, oregano, cayenne, salt and black pepper, and taste for seasoning. To develop its flavor, let the sauce stand at room temperature for 2 or 3 hours before serving. Chimichurri is a traditional sauce for grilled and roasted meats.




Bacon-Parsley Pinwheels

Yield: 36 Servings

2 cup fresh snipped parsley
1 lb bacon; fried crisp & drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
Butter; softened
1 loaf sandwich bread with crusts trimmed off

Combine parsley, finely crumbled bacon, mayonnaise & Worcestershire in blender. Mix garlic powder & buttrer & spread on each slice of bread which has been lightly flattened with a rolling pin. Spread 1 teaspoon parsley mixture over the butter. Roll slices & wrap in foil & freeze. To serve, unwrap & slice 4 to a roll. They thaw immediately. Makes 9 dozen appetizers.

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