Seasonal Chef: More Leafy Greens

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More leafy greens abound in our CSA baskets and at the farmers markets. Beautiful vegetables are making a splash, but this week I could not resist sharing a few ideas about Mizuna and Swiss Chard. Both of these greens are low in calories with zero fat and high in vitamins A, C and potassium. Chard has a similar taste to spinach, while mizuna has a slightly sweet and spicy taste. Similar to arugula, but a bit milder. You can eat both raw in salads, and also blanched or sautéed. Anyway around it both mizuna and chard are delicious additions to any dish vegetable, grain or protein.

saute mizuna

I needed a side dish to have one evening we were barbequing so I simply sautéed a bunch of chopped mizuna with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for about 3 minutes. It doesn’t take long, you just wilt the leaves.

sauteed mizuna, quinoa and golden raisins

Then I tossed in a couple of cups of cooked quinoa and golden raisins.

mizuna, quinoa and golden raisin

My vinaigrette was 2:1 olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper. This Mizuna, Quinoa and Golden Raisin Salad was fantastic warm with our grilled chicken and then perfect cold the next day for lunch.

Quinoa, Golden Beet Salad

Over the holiday weekend I needed to make a side dish for a 4th of July picnic in California. It was similar with a little more going on: golden beets and wild rice were added to the quinoa and sautéed mizuna.

Rainbow Chard

As I was walking through my sister-in-law’s garden I spotted her amazing patch of rainbow chard. I immediately thought of a way to repurpose the leftover grain salad as a summer roll.

Blanching rainbow chard

In a pot of boiling salted water drop the chard leaves in for about 1 minute. (If they are big, like these ones, use the stems to pull them out. Then chop them off to use later. )

Shocking rainbow chard.

Remove carefully and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. This will also keep the leaves nice and bright.

chard rolls

Remove the tougher end of the stem, which makes it easier to roll.

Swiss Chard rolls with Quinoa filling

With it I made a little Dijon mustard and lemon dip; but you could easily use your favorite salad dressing. You just need a little something to pop the flavor of the rolls.

Swiss Chard Rolls with Quinoa

If you have bigger leaves, like my sister-in-law’s, you can simply make the rolls bigger and use them as a side dish, which is what I did for that dinner!

We’re diving into the lazy days of summer, so quick and easy is the name of the game. I’m back in business with my July cooking demos, starting tomorrow at the Phelps Farmers Market in Sleepy Hollow. Click this link to see my upcoming dates.

Buon appetito!

On year ago: Escarole
Two years ago: Beets

Mizuna, Quinoa and Golden Raisin Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Mizuna, Quinoa and Golden Raisin Salad

A quick sauté mellows the flavor of the mizuna and the balsamic dressing brings all the flavors together.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of mizuna
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa or a grain of your choice
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • Balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Rinse the mizuna under cool water and shake off any residual dirt. Chop the leaves and stems to about ¼”. You should have about 4-5 cups.
  2. Saute the mizuna in a medium pan over medium heat with a good drizzle of olive oil and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, until it wilts slightly.
  3. Remove from the pan and place in large bowl. Add the quinoa and raisins and toss well.
  4. Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1½ tablespoon of balsamic and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine and pour over the salad. Toss to combine and taste for seasoning.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/07/10/seasonal-chef-leafy-greens/

Mizuna and Quinoa Salad
Serves 4

1 bunch of mizuna
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
2 cups of cooked quinoa
½ cup golden raisins
Balsamic vinegar

1. Rinse the mizuna under cool water and shake off any residual dirt. Chop the leaves and stems to about ¼”. You should have about 4-5 cups.
2. Saute the mizuna in a medium pan over medium heat with a good drizzle of olive oil and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, until it wilts slightly.
3. Remove from the pan and place in large bowl. Add the quinoa and raisins and toss well.
4. Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1½ tablespoon of balsamic and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine and pour over the salad. Toss to combine and taste for seasoning.

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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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