Born Again Greens

All the winter greens have been sprayed by the fountain of youth. They are showing up in the market sporting tender curves and babysoft complexions. Beware, however, of their apparent innocence; they have also become more childish temperamentally. The tough kale and mustard greens of winter have become almost as sensitive as the eternal big baby, Spinach. Cook quickly and expect to serve a lot less volume than you wash.

Although the texture has changed, the flavors have not become overly delicate. This new favorite side dish, for example, demands the mouth’s immediate attention. So serve with a main dish that can stand up to it, such as grilled chicken, pork or beef.

Spanked Baby Mustard
Serves 2 as a side dish

2 Tbs olive oil
½ Tbs dry fennel seeds
½ Tbs dry cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 cups baby mustard greens, any tough stems removed
• If leaves are large, chop coarsely

Heat oil over medium heat. Crush seeds roughly in bowl, to release their locked-in flavors. (Not every seed needs to be cracked open.) Add seeds to oil and roast until beginning to brown. Bring temperature down to low and add onions. When onions have softened, stir in garlic. Slowly cook onion mixture until is deep brown. Stir in baby mustard greens and sauté until wilted.

picture by Liubirong via Dreamstime

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