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Greens

  • Beet Greens +

    Beets / Beet Greens (Beta vulgaris) Beets scientific name is Beta vulgaris, which means “common beet” in Latin. The classically red root of the beet has been cultivated as a food source for hundreds of years. Golden beets are another common variety of beets. Sugar Beets are grown widely as a source of table sugar. Beets are a year-round vegetable, though generally thought of as a winter vegetable, in fact its best season is June through October, when its leafy green top is at its most tender and delicious. Beets are edible plants native to the Mediterranean. Unlike many food plants, all of the parts of the beet are edible. Many people are familiar with the fleshy root, but beet greens are also very tasty. Some types of beets are specifically cultivated for their greens, and they are known as leaf beets or Swiss Chard. Beets can be grilled, baked, roasted, and boiled. They are often pickled for use in salads, and they may be included in root vegetable gratins and similar dishes. Beet greens can be used like chard and other dark leafy greens in things ranging from salads to quiche. Beet greens contain a larger amount of nutrients than beet roots.  The greens are richer in iron, calcium, and Vitamins A and C.  Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of manganese, potassium, and fiber.  Both the greens and roots are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6. Wash & Store Directions: You can store beets unwashed in the refrigerator.  Before storing, cut off all but 1 to 2”inches of the beet greens.  Store the unwashed greens in a separate tightly sealed plastic bag. Place in refrigerator where they will keep fresh for about four days. Place beet roots in tightly sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator and they will stay fresh for at least a week to 3 weeks. Top prepare beet greens just wash the leaves and cook them as you would Swiss chard or kale, by steaming, cooking in boiling water, or sautéing until wilted. The beets themselves have to be cooked in advance before eating.  Beets can be steamed, roasted, shredded and sautéed.  But the most common ways to cook them is either boiling or roasting. You do not need to peel prior to cooking. Just trim and wash the beet, cook and then slide the skin off the beet. Prepare the cooked beet as you wish. Raw beets cannot be frozen for later use as the flesh becomes mushy when thawing. Cooked beets however keep well when frozen for later use. (GREEN TIP: Use a large bucket or container for washing and the leftover water can be carried outside to water your plants and grass.)
  • Arugula +

    Arugula is an aromatic salad green. It is high in vitamins A and C. Rinse the leaves in cool water and dry on paper towels.  To store, wrap leaves tightly in plastic or a ziplock bag.
  • Bok Choy +

    Bok Choy (Brassica Chinensis) Bok choy is classified as a cabbage. Bok Choy bears little resemblance to the round European cabbages found in western supermarkets. It has thick, white stalks and dark green leaves that have a round shape.  Its white stalks resemble celery without the stringiness, while the tops are dark green, crinkly leaves. The Chinese commonly refer to bok choy as pak choi or "white vegetable." Another common name is white cabbage. Bok choy is widely popular in the Philippines, replacing cabbage in pancit, a Philippine noodle dish, and in kimchi, a Korean hot pickle relish made with garlic and red peppers. Bok choy or pak kwahng toong also appears in Thai recipes. While bok choy is grown in the United States and several Canadian provinces, it remains firmly associated with Chinese cooking. Bok Choy’s delicate flavor is featured in soups, stir-fries and appetizers. Bok choy is great in salads or cut in sticks for a relish tray with dip. Bok Choy’s mild sweet flavor is a hit with children and cabbage shy adults as well. Bok choy is becoming popular as well, because of its nutritional value. One half cup of raw bok choy contains only 10 calories. Bok choy contains no fat or cholesterol and is a good source of calcium. It is also low in sodium and high in vitamins C and A. Wash & Store Directions: Bok Choy should be stored unwashed for 4-5 days sealed tightly in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator. All greens trap sand and grit. When ready to prepare the bok choy cut the bottom inch off the stalks. You can treat the bok choy the way you would celery for cleaning and prepping. Separate or pull the individual leaves of bok choy apart and rinse them with cold, running water from your faucet or rinse them in a bowl of cold water as you would greens. A sprayer-type faucet is very helpful when rinsing vegetables such as this. Because bok choy is a member of the cabbage family, you can cook it as you would a cabbage. When cooked, it has a sweet flavor and its stalks are firm. Both bok choy's stalks and leaves are edible. The most common uses for mature bok choy include steaming, sautéing and boiling it then adding traditional Asian seasonings such as soy sauce, ginger, or hot peppers. Baby bok choy is best when cooked whole and used as a side dish or as an additional to noodles. However, when cooking mature bok choy, do not cook it whole. Instead, first remove the leaves from their stalks and cut the stalks into pieces. Next, take the leaves that were removed and cut them into pieces as well. Cook the stalks first until almost tender and then add the leaves. (GREEN TIP: Use a large bucket or container for washing and the leftover water can be carried outside to water your plants and grass.)
  • Mustard Greens +

    Mustard Greens (Brassica juncea) The leaves, the seeds, and the stem of Brassica juncea are edible. Mustard greens are the leaves of the plant. The best mustard greens are harvested young. They are plump, crisp and have a rich green color. Mustard greens possess a zesty, peppery flavor which people associate with a mustard flavor. Mustard greens are an excellent source of several vitamins including, A, C, potassium, thiamine and riboflavin. There are western and Asian mustard greens varieties. The western varieties include curly-leaf or common mustards which have frilled oval leaves and mustard spinach which has large smooth dark green leaves like spinach. One Asian variety mustard is mizuna, which is a Japanese green with bright green fernlike leaves.  Mustard greens can be eaten raw or cooked. You can prepare mustard greens like you would spinach, but expect a much stronger flavor. The plant appears in many variations in African, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Soul Food cooking, where they are commonly mixed with more mild greens.  Mustard greens pair nicely with aged grating cheese, starchy vegetables like corn or potatoes, curry, garlic, ham and pork, spicy or hot sauces, lemon, onion, salted meats, and vinegars. You can season mustard greens with vast variety of spices to compliment any dish. Wash & Store Directions: Mustard greens can be stored in a tightly sealed plastic bag, wrapped in dry paper towels in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator for up to a week. Store them unwashed until you are ready to use them. Mustard greens can be frozen. Be sure bunches and leaves are not soaking wet before storing them. Gently blot with a paper towel or lay out on towels to dry. Store them unwashed until you are ready to use them, the steps listed above are just to remove moisture that may have been on the greens when you received them.  When ready to eat trim any thick stems if needed and discard. You can remove the stems by folding the leaves in half and ripping out the stems. All leafy greens can trap sand and dirt. Wash thoroughly in cold water before using. Place the bunch of mustard greens in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes then lift them out allowing the sediment to settle to the bottom of the water. Rinse under cold water, possibly in a colander, to make sure no sediment is left behind. You do not have to dry mustard greens before cooking, the residual water that clings to them will help them wilt as they cook. It is best to avoid cooking mustard greens in aluminum or iron pots as they can turn black on contact with these metals. (GREEN TIP: Use a large bucket or container for washing and the leftover water can be carried outside to water your plants and grass.)
  • Kale +

    Quick Facts Kale has plenty of phytonutrients, things like quercetin — which helps combat inflammation and prevents arterial plaque formation — and sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound. But many of its top health-promoting compounds are rendered more effective when you eat the stuff in combination with another food. Fats like avocado, olive oil or even parmesan can make fat-soluble carotenoids more available to the body. And acid from lemon juice helps make kale’s iron more bioavailable as well. Availability Green Curly Kale is available during the spring harvest season from mid May through early July.  Fall curly kale is available from September through Christmas.  Our east coast, Mid Atlantic growing season is perfect for an early spring kale and fall kale.  Kale is a cool season crop, preferring cool to cold growing conditions.  Storage & Meal Prep Wrap kale in a damp paper or dish towel and store, refrigerated in an air tight plastic bag.  We find that if we prep our veg as soon as they come in the house, we eat more vegetables.  Kale can be rinsed and shredded or chopped and stored in an airtight plastic bag for up to two weeks.
  • Collards +

  • Spinach +

  • Red Head Lettuce +

    Red Head Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) The leaves of Lactuca Sativa are edible. Lettuce is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. Lettuce is a hardy, fast-growing annual vegetable with either loose or compact leaves. Leaf color ranges from light green through reddish brown. It is eaten either raw, notably in salads, sandwiches and many other dishes, or cooked, as in Chinese cuisine in which the stem becomes as important as the leaf. Lettuce is mild in flavor, it has been described over the centuries as a cooling counterbalance to other items in a salad. You can braise the lettuce and use it as a nice compliment to roasted meats or as a bed for grilled chicken. You can also make sauces out of lettuces that pair well with milder dishes such as fish. The lettuce most commonly found in supermarkets (iceberg, or crisphead, lettuce) is the most difficult to grow. Butterhead lettuces, which have loose heads and delicate crunchy leaves, are easier to grow. Cos, or romaine, lettuce forms a loose, long head and is between a butterhead and leaf lettuce in flavor. In general, the stronger and more bitter the salad green, the stronger-flavored the dressing should be. Try warm mustard or garlic based dressings with strong-flavored salad greens. Wash & Store Directions: Delicate lettuces can be stored loose in a perforated plastic bag, place a dry paper towel in the bag as well and put in vegetable crisper of the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store them unwashed until you are ready to use them. Be sure heads and leaves are not soaking wet before storing them. Gently blot with a paper towel or lay out on towels to dry prior to storing. The steps listed above are just to remove moisture that may have been on the greens when you received them. When ready to eat trim any thick stems if needed and discard. You should tear any large leaves off individually rather than cutting to avoid bruising the leaves. All leafy greens trap sand and dirt. Wash thoroughly in cold water before using. Soak the lettuce in a bowl of very cold water for about 10 minutes then lift them out allowing the sediment to settle to the bottom of the water. Rinse under cold water, possibly in a colander, to make sure no sediment is left behind. This will also refresh and recrisp the lettuce as well. To allow dressings to coat better and not dilute the flavor of the lettuce, make sure to thoroughly dry the greens using a salad spinner or by shaking them gently in a clean dishtowel. (GREEN TIP: Use a large bucket or container for washing and the leftover water can be carried outside to water your plants and grass.)  
  • Green Head Lettuce +

    Green Head Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) The leaves of Lactuca Sativa are edible. Lettuce is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. Lettuce is a hardy, fast-growing annual vegetable with either loose or compact leaves. Leaf color ranges from light green through reddish brown. It is eaten either raw, notably in salads, sandwiches and many other dishes, or cooked, as in Chinese cuisine in which the stem becomes as important as the leaf. Lettuce is mild in flavor, it has been described over the centuries as a cooling counterbalance to other items in a salad. You can braise the lettuce and use it as a nice compliment to roasted meats or as a bed for grilled chicken. You can also make sauces out of lettuces that pair well with milder dishes such as fish. The lettuce most commonly found in supermarkets (iceberg, or crisphead, lettuce) is the most difficult to grow. Butterhead lettuces, which have loose heads and delicate crunchy leaves, are easier to grow. Cos, or romaine, lettuce forms a loose, long head and is between a butterhead and leaf lettuce in flavor. In general, the stronger and more bitter the salad green, the stronger-flavored the dressing should be. Try warm mustard or garlic based dressings with strong-flavored salad greens. Wash & Store Directions: Delicate lettuces can be stored loose in a perforated plastic bag, place a dry paper towel in the bag as well and put in vegetable crisper of the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store them unwashed until you are ready to use them. Be sure heads and leaves are not soaking wet before storing them. Gently blot with a paper towel or lay out on towels to dry prior to storing. The steps listed above are just to remove moisture that may have been on the greens when you received them. When ready to eat trim any thick stems if needed and discard. You should tear any large leaves off individually rather than cutting to avoid bruising the leaves. All leafy greens trap sand and dirt. Wash thoroughly in cold water before using. Soak the lettuce in a bowl of very cold water for about 10 minutes then lift them out allowing the sediment to settle to the bottom of the water. Rinse under cold water, possibly in a colander, to make sure no sediment is left behind. This will also refresh and recrisp the lettuce as well. To allow dressings to coat better and not dilute the flavor of the lettuce, make sure to thoroughly dry the greens using a salad spinner or by shaking them gently in a clean dishtowel. (GREEN TIP: Use a large bucket or container for washing and the leftover water can be carried outside to water your plants and grass.)  
  • Dandelion Greens +

    Dandelion Greens (Chicorium intybus) Dandelion Greens have a pungent flavor and long jagged leaves. The dandelion is a perennial, herbaceous plant with long, lance-shaped leaves. The name dandelion comes from the French dent de lion, meaning "lion's tooth," a reference to the jagged-edged leaves of this noteworthy weed that grows both wild and cultivated. Dandelion greens are not the same plants you see growing up in between sidewalk cracks or in your backyard. Wild Dandelions and the spring greens varieties are considered medicinal plants and are used in traditional cultures as a diuretic. Dandelion greens are wonderful in salads, or sautéed and steamed like spinach. Though they're available until winter in some places, the best, most tender dandelion greens are found in early spring, before the plant begins to flower. They taste like chicory and endive, with an intense heartiness overlying a bitter tinge or tanginess. If you're not used to the slight bitterness, cook them with sweet vegetables, especially sliced carrots and parsnips. Boiling dandelions in one or more changes of water makes them milder, which is a good introduction if you're new to natural foods. Dandelion greens are an excellent source of vitamin A, iron and calcium. Wash & Store Directions: Dandelion Greens can be stored unwashed wrapped tightly in a plastic bag, with a dry paper towel, in the crisper section of the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days prior to use. Wash Dandelion Greens just before using by immersing them in a large bowl filled with cold water. Then lift them out allowing the sediment to collect at the bottom of the bowl. Repeat as necessary to remove all grit and sand. All greens trap sand and grit. Dry the greens in a salad spinner or shake gently in a clean dishtowel to remove excess moisture.  Make sure to remove any large roots, wilted or yellow leaves and thick stalks. Dandelion greens can be eaten raw in salads or on sandwiches or sautéed and served as a side dish or bed for grilled meats. They can also be stirred into soups during the last few minutes of simmering. (GREEN TIP: Use a large bucket or container for washing and the leftover water can be carried outside to water your plants and grass.)  
  • Sorrel +

    Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) Sorrel is classified as a perennial herb that is cultivated as an herb or leaf vegetable. Sorrel is a green leaf vegetable native to Europe. It is also called common sorrel or spinach dock. In appearance sorrel greatly resembles spinach and in taste sorrel can range from comparable to the kiwifruit in young leaves, to a more acidic tasting older leaf. Many people say it tastes like lemons. As sorrel ages it tends to grow more acidic due to the presence of oxalic acid, which actually gets stronger and tastes more prominent. Young sorrel may be harvested to use in salads, soups or stews. Young sorrel leaves are also excellent when lightly cooked, similar to the taste of cooked chard or spinach. Throughout the Caribbean you can find deep red sorrel, which is not a close relative to European sorrel. Unlike European sorrel, it is an annual plant instead of a perennial. It does have a similar acidic taste and is favored in drinks, jellies, and sometimes in tarts. From a nutritional standpoint, sorrel can be an excellent food for many. It has high levels of vitamins A and C. If you love sorrel when you first try it, learn to love it in small doses in the beginning. It has natural laxative properties that make consuming too much sorrel a trial for the tummy.  Wash & Store Directions: Sorrel should be stored unwashed in an airtight plastic bag until ready to use.  Wash Sorrel just before using by immersing in a large bowl filled with cold water. Then lift them out allowing the sediment to collect at the bottom of the bowl. Repeat as necessary to remove all grit and sand. All greens trap sand and grit. Dry the Sorrel in a salad spinner or shake gently in a clean dishtowel to remove excess moisture. Make sure to remove any large roots, wilted or yellow leaves and thick stalks. You can store dry sorrel leaves in your freezer wrapped in foil and then in airtight plastic bags for several months. You can liquefy Sorrel in a blender and then freeze them in ice cube trays. You can then store the frozen Sorrel cubes in plastic bags in your freezer for several months. Sorrel can be eaten raw in salads or on sandwiches or sautéed and served as a side dish or bed for grilled meats. Sorrel pairs well with butter, celery root, chervil, cream, eggs, fish, mustard, olive oil, pepper, potatoes, spinach, sugar, tarragon.  (GREEN TIP: Use a large bucket or container for washing and the leftover water can be carried outside to water your plants and grass.)
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