Leafy Greens



Long before green smoothies became all the rage, cuisines from around the world were incorporating leafy greens into many of their recipes. Italians might sauté some spinach or broccoli rabe with garlic in olive oil while Chinese cooks would stir-fry pieces of bok choy with a splash of oyster sauce. Whatever cuisine and cooking technique you choose-often it's sautéeing, blanching or braising-greens can take on a range of global flavors and be interchanged in many dishes. Most greens tend to be thick, hearty and a bit bitter, so you'll usually need to cook them to mellow them out. F&W's guide covers a wide variety of greens and offers recipes that use them in pastas, stews, side dishes and more.

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Creamy Swiss Chard Gratin with Crispy Gnocchi
A riff on creamed spinach, this cheesy gratin is studded with buttery toasted gnocchi. Swiss chard adds an earthy bite, while a duo of nutty Gruyère and salty Parmigiano-Reggiano brings richness and depth to the béchamel. Store-bought gnocchi help this gratin come together in a flash; toasting it in butter instead of boiling adds a compelling crunch.
Niños Envueltos Dominicanos (Dominican Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
Rating: Unrated
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Rich with the flavors of sofrito and three types of ground meat, these savory cabbage rolls are irresistible—especially in this version, which comes from Gravalese’s Dominican grandmother. The name of the dish, which translates to “swaddled children,” comes from the shape of the cabbage rolls themselves, but also nods to their deeply comforting nature.
Vigorón (Nicaraguan Cabbage and Yuca with Chicharrones)
Inspired by Mandy Baca's love of Sedano's, a Miami-based Latin grocery store, contrast is king in this refreshing Nicaraguan snack starring mildly sweet, tender yuca; a bracing, crunchy cabbage slaw; and salty chicharrones. Be sure to dress the yuca with all of the vinegar dressing from the cabbage slaw; it cuts through the dense starch and flavors the whole dish.
Sautéed Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu (Fu Ru Kong Xin Cai)
Crisp, mild-tasting water spinach is a favorite leafy green enjoyed in Taiwan. When lightly sautéed, the hollow stalks retain a crisp texture that’s appealing enough for the finest banquet tables. While often simply sautéed with garlic, a touch of fermented tofu is sometimes added to provide a hint of savory flavor and a cloudy complexion to the liquids released from the greens. Fermented tofu is found in tiny cubes packed in small jars, and is extremely potent. Only a small dab needs to be used, mixed with some water, to gently flavor an entire dish of these greens.
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Bitter Greens with Soft-Boiled Eggs

The key to enjoying greens like radicchio and escarole in their raw state is to temper their bracingly bitter edge with the rich, the citrusy, and the sweet. The creamy golden yolks of soft-boiled eggs and a zesty vinaigrette bring everything together here. For crunch, batons of toasted sourdough (think chic croutons) are ideal for dipping in the egg. Slideshow: More Escarole Recipes