Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mustard Greens and Kale Sauce with Sundried Tomatoes

Two of the most powerfully beneficial groups of vegetables that we can eat are leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. This includes foods like lettuces, spinach, mustard greens, beet greens, kale, collard greens, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and bok choy. They’re low in calories and fat, high in fiber, and a great source vitamins such as A, K, C, and folate, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous.

Chlorophyll-containing greens purify and alkalize the blood, and both groups provide anti-oxidants, phyto-nutrients, and are mildly to strongly anti-inflammatory. So any way you can think of to get these veggies into your diet will provide tremendous health benefits to you and your family.

The inspiration for this recipe came from 101 Cookbooks from a pasta recipe calling for kale that sounds fantastic. The recipe sounded good and since I had a bunch of kale and mustard greens in the fridge at the time, I decided to combine the two. Because I was using mustard greens, I thought it would be nice to caramelize the leeks to sweeten them up a bit to balance out the bite of the mustard greens–the same for the balsamic vinegar. The tomatoes give the sauce more of a concentrated flavor as well as body, but I think tomato paste would work here too.

The sauce is good both cold/cool and heated and I’ve had it both ways. First with quinoa pasta (which is actually a blend of rice and quinoa flours), pictured above, and with cooked quinoa. It would also work with rice or other grains, or (I’m thinking!) as a pizza sauce.

Mustard Greens and Kale Sauce with Sundried Tomatoes

1 T grapeseed oil

1 leek, sliced thin crosswise

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 c vegetable broth (or more for a thinner sauce), warm

2 T balsamic vinegar

½ c sundried tomatoes, sliced

6 – 8 large leaves each of mustard greens and kale, removed from the stems and broken into large pieces

sea salt and pepper to taste

goat or feta cheese, optional

In a medium skillet, heat the oil to medium and sauté the leek until tender and almost caramelized. Meanwhile, soak the sliced sundried tomatoes in the broth. When the leaks are ready, add them to a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, tomatoes and about ½ cup of the broth, vinegar, the mustard greens and kale leaves, and a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Blend or process until the leaves are well processed. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Add more broth if a thinner sauce is desired. Serve over pasta or grains. Top with cheese (or blend in during the processing).

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