Monday, June 27, 2011

Greens for Breakfast

The second share is nearly as heavy on the leafy greens as the first was, but this one includes fewer salad fixings and more substantial greens that can withstand some light cooking. The share includes leaf lettuce, kale, mizuna, pac choi, braising mix, green onions, kohlrabi or beets, broccoli (it's tiny - see why here), radishes, sorrel, bean sprouts, and fresh herbs.

The two new things that are most likely to raise questions are the pac choi and the braising mix. I will add them to the Who's Who post ASAP (Wednesday seems likely) but until then I will give you some ideas.

Baby Pac Choi
The pac choi (also spelled bok choy and various other ways) is a loosely headed Chinese cabbage with very fleshy stems. We grow a baby variety which is small when mature. Each head is about one third of the size of pac choi you might find at a grocery store. Also, we think this variety has a better flavor than most of what you find at the grocery store. While it is nice raw, pac choi is best cooked, as in this basic stir fry recipe.

The braising mix greens are also best cooked. In fact, braising mix is basically just a blend of greens that are meant to be cooked, rather than added to a salad. They can contain any number of different types of greens, but ours (at least this week) includes: mustard, purple orach, dandelion, senposai, beet greens, chard, and arugula. You might have noticed that a few of these greens showed up last week as salad greens. They are a week bigger (and tougher) now, so we are recommending that you cook them.

Purple Orach

You might also have noticed that some of the braising mix greens have really crazy names. Purple orach? Senposai? Don't worry, I'll try to explain everything when I update the Who's Who post. For now just know that purple orach is a spinach relative and senposai is another type of Chinese cabbage.

You have limitless options as far as using your braising mix. You can stir fry them as suggested above for the pac choi. You can also braise them (as their name suggests) by following a recipe such as this. Yum.

Or, you can eat them for breakfast.

Cheesy Grits and Greens

This is standard breakfast fare at our house, especially this time of year when our fridge is constantly full of greens too ugly to sell but too edible to throw into the compost pile. It is loosely based on a common Italian dish of polenta topped with braised greens. This is the speedy morning version. It also makes a great lunch or side dish at dinner. The cheese is actually optional, but it's in the name I made up for the recipe, so you might as well use it.

  • Four cups water, divided
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • One cup corn meal
  • Two ounces grated cheese of your choosing (cheddar and parmesan are both good)
  • Braising greens, chopped roughly - as much as you like
  • Butter (optional)
  1. Pour three cups of water into a medium saucepan. Add the salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. In the meantime, combine the cornmeal and the remaining cup of water.
  3. When the water is boiling, whisk the cornmeal "slurry" into the boiling water until you see no lumps. Reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the grits are soft, about ten minutes. Turn the heat to low.
  5. Stir in the grated cheese and chopped greens. You can use just a handful of greens, a half pound, or more. It really just depends on your taste.
  6. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the greens are wilted.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in butter if you choose. Sometimes, when we are feeling especially health conscious, we stir in flax seed oil rather than butter.


  1. I'm planning on having mine tomorrow - and for extra healthy green I'm adding salt pork :-)


  2. quite yummy! I added some nutritional yeast to mine...much more delicious than I thought they would be!


  3. Aaaannnnddd, my roommate and I made THE most delicious stir-fry last night- portobello mushrooms, kale, poc choi, garlic scapes, mizuna, broccoli, carrots and green peppers- obviously those three were not from the share :) with a little soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic chili sauce. All this over a bed of quinoa, and topped with bean sprouts. I've never used quinoa for stir-fry. It will definitely be replacing rice as the filler.

    Thanks for another delicious share this week!

  4. Mmmm...that all sounds great. We had some bacon, apples, and kale for lunch today because apparently Fourth of July weekend puts me in the mood for some fall flavors. Still, a good way to eat up extra kale from yesterday's market :)