Eat your greens--I don't need to tell my Cooking Assistant twice. In fact, I can't get him out of the long grass in this abandoned yard. His favorite yards are the unkept ones filled with knee high greens.
Greens have lots of fans in the Northwest. I'm cultivating more dandelions, purslane and amaranth greens in our garden this year--things that grow easily and take little care. And I'm continually musing about what to do with them in the kitchen.
Recently I read this post by Deborah Madison on Culinate about using the whole vegetable. She wrote about radish leaves, of all things. Check out the article and get some ideas--smoothie, salad, soup, saute--who knew?
Funny, on Saturday I'd asked people at the market, while standing in line, what they intended to do with their radish greens. I got a lot of blank stares which is kind of unusual at the farmers' market. Usually someone can come up with something. But people just wanted the radishes this time.
More people need ideas for these greens or they'll get tossed into the compost heap prematurely.
I started concocting my own recipe as I stood in line. Soup usually works, but I was thinking dip for a change. It involved avocado, and what isn't good with avocado? I was thinking guacamole, but I didn't have a lime, so I'd make it work with lemon.
How much dip you get depends the size of the avocado you use.
Don't stress if you don't have radish greens. Use what comes with your CSA or harvest something from your garden, if you want. Looks like some chard or spinach here.
|Whispering Winds Farm, near Mount Vernon. I love the flags here.|
|Lemons in Arizona|
Lemons take special care in the Northwest (if you want to grow them), and only a few varieties survive. For fresh lemons from trees, you'd have better luck in Arizona or California. Get them organic if you want to use the peels. Winter months are best for citrus, but I love the tangy bite all year long.
Avocado adds the perfect texture. This dip isn't just about healthy--it's about vibrant flavors and a decadent texture.
Even my Assistant agrees--this is a flavor you could get addicted to.
Here's the recipe:
Super Green Guacamole
(Serves 2 to 4)
1 spring onion, diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups of washed chopped seasonal greens (use radish, turnip, spinach, chard or mustard greens)
1 tablespoon chopped Mama Lil's, or use cayenne or chipole chile powder to taste
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic scrapes
1avocado, peeled and seeded
Smoked sea salt, to taste
Fresh lemon juice, taste
1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and oil. Stir and cook until onions are soft. Add Mama Lil's and the seasonal greens. Cook until greens are soft but still vibrant green.
2. Remove from heat. Puree with garlic scrapes. Set aside and allow to cool. Mash avocado, then stir and mash greens, adding smoked sea salt and fresh lemon juice to taste.
3. Serve with chips or fresh veggies. This puree is also good layered on sandwiches, blended with noodles like pesto, or added as a topping for rice.