Saturday, December 4, 2010

Leftover Greens

Namely, kale. Yesterday we talked about cooking kale. I know it’s an elementary thing, but to be honest, I didn’t grow up with cooked kale, and if my mom had made it, I probably wouldn’t have touched it. You know how kids are: anything green and wilty is questionable.

But we’re not kids anymore, and we’re trying to build sensible “food pyramids” for ourselves. Maybe you don’t cook with greens much.

So let’s say you made that kale I told you about, and now you’ve got some leftovers. Here are some of my favorite things to do with it!

1. Grilled cheese sandwich. Oh, this is easy, but if you choose good cheese and good bread, you end up with a sandwich that you’d pay, oh, $6.60 or $8.80 for at a downtown restaurant. The kale has a nutty-earthy flavor, so I’d go with a creamy or nutty cheese. Manchego, Swiss, or Monterey Jack, for instance.

2. Poached-egg breakfast. This one requires some pasta sauce, salsa, or other tomatoey sauce (which could be from leftovers, too). Top poached eggs with some reheated greens and drizzle some tomato sauce over. This is pretty darned good. And if you don’t feel like poaching eggs, soft-cooked will do just as well. (Dress it up a little with some crumbled feta? Your call.) I’m pretty sure this is Atkins-friendly, though I myself like a piece of toast for sop.

3. Colcannon soup. Well, or a quick version of this Scottish/Irish classic. This requires some leftover mashed potatoes. Easy, easy, easy: reheat the mashed potatoes, and stir in milk and butter to make a thick, creamy soup. Add the kale to the potato soup. Great for a cold day!

4. Pasta loves leftover kale, too. It can be added to any kind of pasta salad—for instance, you could take it in a “Mediterranean” direction, with Kalamata olives, feta, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers. Or whatever. You can add it to hot pasta, too.

Just ideas. I mean, you know you need more veggies in your diet, right? And aren’t you getting bored with broccoli and green beans?

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