Now that the farmers market is flush with fresh, local greens again, I find myself buying several varieties from various vendors weekly. Every meal has some sort of green worked into it, but towards the end of the week, I find I need to start getting creative with the slightly fading greens.
Which is how I found myself trying to do something new with some mesclun mix. I wanted to do a ‘wilted’ salad of slightly cooked greens (ala my favorite white beans and greens recipe, minus the beans) when I remembered a dish my friend Meredith had posted about recently. I didn’t recall details, but I seemed to think it involved wilted greens and breadcrumbs. As Pat had started the grill, I had very limited time in which to sort out the part of dinner that wasn’t going on the grill. (Although it just occurred to me that grilled greens are thing….next time.)
I texted Meredith for the recipe and in reply she told me to google Utica Greens, which was not really at all where I was headed with my dish (because the grill had been lit – no time to stop and actually consult a recipe!). However, the end result of what I ended up doing was so lovely, I wrote it down to remember it. It look just under 5 minutes, a bit longer if you factor in washing the greens.
I think this recipe has lots of potential for variation. Some red pepper might be a nice addition. It could also be fun to play with the vinegar – balsamic or some herbed vinegar could be fun or use lemon juice as the acid. You could do the breadcrumbs earlier in the cooking process to have them soak up more liquid. Either way, it’s a 5 minute dish that’s good served warm or cold and uses up fading salad greens. Or spinach or kale or really, any greens in your fridge that need to go. A heartier green like kale may take longer to cook, so adjust accordingly.
And for more ideas on how to use up all those greens you find yourself drawn to buying, here’s my post from a few years ago with some more ideas. You’re welcome.
Heat a good glob of olive oil in a pan. Add lots of minced garlic and briefly sauté. Add heartier chopped greens (spinach, kale, etc), a bit of wine, salt and stir until wilted. Add baby lettuce, stir in bread crumbs, salt and pepper and turn off heat. Cover and let rest.
Stir in a dash of red wine vinegar, taste for seasoning. Serve.