Seasonal Chef: Beautiful Leafy Greens at the Farmer’s Market


Summer is officially here and at the farmers market the tables are starting to fill with early vegetables like radish and harukai turnips. More so you will find big beautiful bunches of leafy greens. There are just so many to choose from, it’s hard to decide. Mizunachard, and kale to name just a few. One idea would be to try a different one once a week. If you’re not sure what to do with something ask the farmer at the table and also have a look at my Seasonal Chef archive recipes for ideas.

Last week I was faced with that exact problem when I picked up my CSA at Hilltop Hanover Farm: so many leafy greens and not sure where to start. Let me back up a bit, as you might be wondering just what exactly is a CSA? It stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” Being part of a CSA gives you direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by farmers. When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer. Weekly or bi-weekly, from June until October or November, your farmer will deliver that share of produce to a convenient drop-off location. CSA members pay for an entire season of produce upfront (typically $400-$600). This early bulk payment enables your farmer to plan for the season, purchase new seed, make equipment repairs, and more. If you are a seasoned market-goer you might want to consider being part of a share. Summer shares at this point might be gone, but consider a fall share after September. It’s a great way to get delicious ingredients fresh from the farm.

Wrights Farm blue egg

Let’s get back to the task at hand: our leafy greens. This past weekend I taught a Kid’s Cooking Class at Hilltop and ended up in a conversation with a woman shopping at their farm stand. She was explaining how she uses cornmeal with her sautéed greens. She inspired me that afternoon. When I got home I pulled out my Wild Hive Farm cornmeal and started noodling around for cornbread recipes. I found a wide variety, but ended up adapting this one slightly. I would also like to note that I picked up some beautiful pale blue eggs from the Wright’s Farm table at the Phelp’s Market on Thursday. Really delicious!

Hilltop Hanover young leeks and scallions

Starting with young leeks and garlic

sauteeing mizuna

I first sautéed them with just mizuna. I simply adore the flavor of mizuna.

kale, chard and mizuna mix

My second go around I used a variety of greens with the mizuna. I think the flavor was much better. I leave that to you. When you look at the recipe I note only the amount you need.

cornbread and mixed leafy greens

Once you mix the cornbread batter and drop it over the cooked greens take your fork and gently lift the greens through the batter. Then top with the feta and scallions.

Leafy Market Greens Cornbread

This is a perfect make-ahead recipe to keep in the fridge for an easy lunch or dinner. Add a nice salad or have it on it’s own. Click this link to see my recipe for: Leafy Greens Cornbread.

Next week I will be exploring garlic scapes. I have a great recipe to share and an idea to use it with pork tenderloin.
Until then, head out this weekend to your local market and explore!

Buon Appetito!

One year ago: Snap Peas 
Two years ago: Rainbow Chard



About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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