If you can’t tell, I am all about the greens. Any kind of vegetable, bring it on [except celery]. I still buy leafy greens even if my garden is growing kale and collards. Especially when they are 2 HUGE bunches for $1. When I mean huge, I decided to do the weight test. Each bunch clocked in at 2 lbs. That’s the equivalent of 4 bunches for $1. Booyah! Surprise sales. That’s when I get in trouble. What the heck to do with all the greens?
I now have the perfect solution. You have to cook them down into creamy silkiness. This way the greens wilt down and you can munch through a bunch in no time. My Green Soup with Ginger with both Swiss chard and spinach almost called me back, but I decided to try a dish with more sustenance. Last time, I added quinoa to the Coconut-Braised Collards and this time, I continued with the Greek theme and added Christmas Lima beans (any large white bean would work) to my stewed greens. The gentle, slow simmer allows the tomatoes to cook down, conferring sweetness and creaminess, while the paprika, mint and dill infuse an extra flavour dimension. This is how you eat your greens, my friends. Lots of them.
(If only I could do the same thing with lettuce!)
Greek Stewed Swiss Chard With Tomatoes, Mint and Lima Beans
Adapted from NY Times
2 pounds Swiss chard or kale, stemmed, washed and chopped (1 lb prepped)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes, or more to taste
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, chopped, or a 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice (peeled if you want to get fancy) – I used 2 regular tomatoes and 2 pints of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp tomato paste, diluted in 1/2 cup water
2.5 cups cooked Christmas Lima beans (cooked from 1/2 cup dried) – substitute with other large Lima bean or white bean or even chickpeas (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot, add water and bring to a boil. Place steamer overtop. Steam Swiss chard for 2 minutes, then rinse under cold water and squeeze dry. Alternatively, you could blanch the chard for 1 minute in the boiling water).
2. In a second large skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and saute until it becomes transparent, around 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika and chile flakes, stirring for approximately one minute, until the spices are fragrant.
3. Next, add the tomatoes and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly, around 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the chard, herbs, diluted tomato paste and cooked lima beans and return to a simmer. Simmer until the greens are very tender, around 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.