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Seven-Minute Sides: Smoky Greens

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A pot of fresh greens is so quick and easy to make! It’s the perfect side dish to a cool summer soup, a quinoa salad, or some Southern black-eyed peas. Greens are always ideal when your priority is easy cooking with a dash of healthy and delicious.

I was inspired to make this dish when one of my husband’s patients brought us a large bag of beet greens right out of her garden, but you can also use a bunch of kale or chard, though kale will take an extra 10 minutes to cook. I suggest  6 to 10 large leaves per person, at least, since they will reduce to a small serving after cooking.

You can use any type of seasoning, but a good artisan salt like Salish Alderwood Smoked Salt transforms an ordinary dish into gourmet food. If you crave a little heat, add some fresh ginger. If you long for still deeper flavor, start by sautéing a couple of shallots until they start to brown  before you add the greens. (Using the shallot will add another 7 to 10 minutes by the time you peel, slice and sauté the shallots. It will give added depth but is not required for good taste.)  Want some crunch and a hit of protein? Top with chopped raw almonds.

Try these smoky sautéed greens when easy cooking is at the top of your to-do list!

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SMOKEY BEET GREENS

Serves 2
Basic Recipe Prep Time: About 5 minutes

I routinely make the simplest version of this dish: just greens and salt. This side can be made start to finish in 10 minutes or less.

 

2 tablespoons olive, coconut or walnut oil
12 to 20 large beet leaves with stems
1 large shallot, peeled and diced (optional)
½ to 1 teaspoon smoked salt
2 tablespoons water
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (optional)
¼ cup chopped raw almonds (optional)

 

1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan or soup pot on medium-high heat. Soak the greens in cold water to wash off any dirt. Shake off the water, pat-dry the stems with a towel, and chop the bottom section of the stem for each leaf into one-inch pieces. If you wish, prepare the shallot.

 

2. (If using the shallot, add them first to the hot oil. Cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutese.) Add the stems to the hot oil and ½ teaspoon salt, and cover the pan while you chop the greens. Stack and slice the greens once vertically, then 4 or 5 times horizontally. Add the greens to the pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and cover to create some steam. Reduce heat to medium for a few minutes until the greens are tender. If using ginger, add it now and stir.

 

3. For some crunch, sprinkle raw almonds across the top. If needed, add salt to taste, and serve.

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