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Local Flavors: Cooking & Eating from America's Farmers' Markets


Local Flavors: Cooking & Eating from America's Farmers' Markets Cover




Greens Wild and Domestic

It's spring, and farmers' markets across the country are beginning to open. Greens are the vegetables that many will start out with. They're what you can count on finding early in the season. And depending on where you live, greens may flourish throughout the duration of the market, or they may disappear as soon as some real heat comes on. Greens like it cool, and some even like it cold. Salad greens are a huge challenge in Phoenix past March, which is just when they're looking great in Santa Monica. They might be diminishing in Sacramento by about June, but in Santa Fe or Londonderry, Vermont, they're with us from start to finish.

A key sign that it's spring isn't only that greens are available but that they have an irrepressible quality. They practically glow. I've picked up bunches of kale that squeak with vitality, spinach and chard that bounce with life. The arugula is nutty, not bitter; chicories have a sweet edge from the last frost of the season. Green potherbs, like sorrel, nettes, and wild spinach, are tender and delicate, and the deep reds of the red lettuces, like Merlot, haven't lost their luster as long as there are those nightly temperature dips. This is also when you might find miner's lettuce, chickweed, and other edible weeds, which, if you haven't tried them, make exciting additions to salads.

This green glory will fade as the season progresses into labored production, when hot days and nights keep plants churning and growing overtime. But for now, everything is leafy at its very best. This, in fact, is one of the prime times for big green salads, now and the fall. Come midsummer, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers will better fill that role.

The Simplest Tender Greens serves 2 to 4

If your greens are tender and not too voluminous for your pan, simply wilt them in a skillet with the water that clings to their leaves after washing, or steam them. Although boiling is usually considered a less nutritious way of cooking vegetables, the more quickly they cook, the fewer nutrients they lose, and tender greens will spend only the briefest time in a big pot of boiling water.

These methods are especially well suited to those quick-cooking greens, such as spinach, young chard, and wild spinach, although tougher greens, like kale, can also be treated this way if simply cooked a bit longer. (For the more assertive greens, like mustard, see the next recipe.) In general, 2 or 3 people can easily consume a pound of greens, for they shrink to nearly nothing.

1 to 2 pounds greens, coarse stems removed

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

olive oil or butter

lemon wedges or vinegar

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it's heating, wash the greens.

2. Add salt to taste to the water, then plunge the greens in all at once.

Cook just until they're tender, then scoop them into a colander. Leave them

to drain from 2 to 5.

3. Toss the greens with olive oil or butter to taste and season with salt and

pepper. Put them in a bowl or on a platter and serve with lemon wedges or

vinegar. A bit of acid always benefits greens.

Cooking Greens In the Pan: Put greens that have been washed and not dried

in a wide skillet and sprinkle with salt. Cook over high heat until tender from

3 to 5 minutes turning them occasionally with tongs. Lift them out of the pan,

leaving any liquid behind. Toss with butter or oil, taste for salt, season with

pepper, and serve.Copyright © 2002 by Deborah Madison

Product Details

Madison, Deborah
Random House
Madison, Deborah
New York
Cookery, american
Farmers' markets
Regional & Ethnic - American - General
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
98-37 WQ-
Publication Date:
June 11, 2002
10.16x8.22x1.30 in. 3.26 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Sustainable Cooking
Cooking and Food » Vegetarian and Vegan » Vegetarian and Natural
Home and Garden » Sustainable Living » Food

Local Flavors: Cooking & Eating from America's Farmers' Markets Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767903493 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Over the years, Deborah Madison has taught us that what is fresh is always better than what is being shipped in. She focuses on this edict in Local Flavors by offering up recipes which make use of seasonal farmers markets. Chapters are deftly arranged by fruit and vegetable families and when they are in season, which leads to great ease in finding the perfect recipe for squash, eggplant, or cantaloupe. The recipes are imaginative, the photography sumptuous, and Madison's enthusiasm for her subject is positively contagious.

"Review" by , "Deborah Madison is a wizard at combining ingredients in new ways that feel honest and traditional. She is one of very few people responsible for reinventing and furthering the cause of American home cooking, and Local Flavors should be as well received as her classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone."
"Review" by , "This book is important on several levels. First, for the brilliance of consumate cook and recipe writer, Deborah Madison. Her food is superb. Second, it is a guide to getting to the heart of America and our foods, visit our farmers? markets. Third, it is a book to believe in. If pressed to select a single thing that could save our food supply from a hellish destruction by international corporate interests, I would have to say it is our farmers? markets. Deborah Madison brings them to life for all of us. Bless her for this gift.?
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