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.

Most Recent

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.

Baby Kale Stir-Fried with Oyster Sauce

Stir-frying happens quickly, so line up prepped ingredients to gracefully and easily glide through the cooking process. You don’t need a giant wok for all the greens, which will collapse into a creamy, earthy side dish. Use a wide pot or pan that can take big heat. This recipe is my supermarket take on stir-fried water spinach, a go-to vegetable for everyday Viet meals. Prewashed greens don’t release much liquid, which can dilute flavors and turn a stir-fry sizzle into a fizzle.
Advertisement

More Greens

Grilled Greens with Popped Mustard Seeds and Ginger

It’s worth firing up the grill just to make this vegetable side from chef Biju Thomas. Mustard greens blister and char over the hot grates until intensely smoky. He tops the greens with aromatics fried in coconut oil, followed by a squeeze of grilled lemon.Slideshow: More Greens Recipes

Chinese Greens with Oyster Sauce

Here’s the secret to craveable Chinese vegetables: boil them in a mix of water, soy sauce, and oil, then drizzle with sauce. Slideshow: More Bok Choy Recipes