Thursday, November 19, 2009

Potatoes and greens

This is a dish from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I came home tonight craving something simple and comforting, only to be greeted by one of those large plastic containers of "spring greens" which was only one day past its best before date, but was frankly looking a little more than that, not off, but just enough over its peak of freshness that I didn't want to eat it as a salad (and anyway, I keep buying this stuff because it's so pretty and healthy but I don't really like green salad that much, especially after work).

So, this is the basic thing, which I am typing from memory in my own words, with a few changes I made to the method as well:

Potatoes and greens
adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Serves 2 hungry people as a main dish or 4 as a side dish

4 medium potatoes (any kind)
1 lb greens, roughly chopped (I used this package of spring greens plus some kale)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 medium cloves of garlic, slivered
more extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Peel, chop, and steam the potatoes until tender. Meanwhile, put a little salted water in a skillet and cook the greens (in batches if necessary) until tender, lift out of the water, and set aside. Pour off the pot liquor to use in stock.

In the same skillet, heat the olive oil and add the pepper flakes and garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, add the greens, then pour the steamed potatoes on over top. Add sea salt to taste, and cook until everything is heated, smashing the potatoes up a bit with a fork to make a rough hash. Serve with a little more extra-virgin olive oil drizzled on (do use extra-virgin, if you have it; you can really taste it in a simple dish like this).

I also wanted to see what the "chicken" style seitan I've been so enamoured with lately would taste like fried in a little canola oil. Here you see it. I ate it, and can confirm that it was much better than it looks, although IMO it doesn't look that bad! The seitan is very moist, and the crunchiness of stir-frying added a little something nice. It was a simple meal, but I enjoyed it very much.

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