In between my reading of spy thrillers and murder mysteries, I sometimes manage to fit in practical and inspirational material. The book I’m reading now is both:
I was reading it last night and came across a recipe that I knew I had to try. It was in the chapter about beets and coming across beets being sold at a farmers’ market in the springtime. The recipe calls for beet greens. Well, this is the season for beets, but ours didn’t do all that well this year, so I have no beet greens. I do, however, have a good stand of late chard, so I decided to wing it with those greens instead. This is such a simple, yet ultimately yummy and filling dish–the portions were perfect for the two of us–we had no leftovers. So, with no further ado:
First I picked enough chard to make 8 cups, shredded:
I didn’t know from chard before I met G. She was the one who got me to plant it our first year gardening. Since then, it’s been a staple in our yard. It tastes very much like spinach, but holds up a bit better, doesn’t cook down quite as much as spinach and isn’t nearly as finiky about the weather. It prefers cool to cold weather, but it holds up all right in the heat, especially if there’s some shade. The crop above just survived the 80s of the last couple of weeks and the snow we had day before yesterday, so let’s hear it for chard! Next I chopped 2 garlic cloves and (though not called for) one of my green chile peppers that insisted on turning red. I thought the color would be nice.
Yeah, that’s my Chinese chopping knife. It’s great for zizzing through greens, etc. Next, heat some olive oil (about 1/4 cup) in a skillet or other oven-proof pan. Then sautee the garlic and peppers and when the garlic starts to turn golden, add the chard:
After you get all the greens in the pan, cook, covered, for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks. I added a few small amounts of water. About half-way through I seasoned with a little nutmeg, a little coriander and a little bit of local red pepper mix that’s flavorful rather than hot.
Next, find your eggs. I used the lovely, home-raised ones we buy from a local woman:
Next, after about 15 minutes on the stove, break the eggs onto the greens:
One thing about these local eggs–they are a bit more fragile than factory eggs. I didn’t want to break the one at the top of the photo, but oh, well. I also didn’t want to get the one on the bottom right as close to the edge as it did, but next time I’ll do better. After that, pop the pan, covered, into the oven for about 10 minutes. Then pull it out, uncover and cook for about 5 more minutes. You can adjust this to how firm you prefer your eggs. These were well done but still moist. Next time I make this dish, I will probably cook the greens longer the stove and a shorter time in the oven with the eggs. When I took them out to uncover them, I added just a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese and popped them back in:
While all this went on, I steamed a sweet potato and by the time the greens/eggs were done, the yam was perfect. I just feel so healthy when my plate has all these colors on it:
We both actually went back for seconds on the greens/eggs–as I said, no leftovers. They were absolutely yummy and melted in your mouth. So simple but incredibly satisfying. I’m sure they would be just as good with beet greens, but this dish would be great with kale, spinach or anything similar. So, grab some greens and experiment. You won’t regret it!