[MUSIC PLAYING] ERIN HARNER: Leafy green saute-- so this is a really simple recipe that you can use for any number of greens. And on your handout, you'll see that there is a number of different greens listed there, like Swiss chard, spinach, kale, cabbage, beet greens, turnip greens, dandelion , greens broccoli rabe, escarole, and tons of others. So we're going to try it with Swiss chard today, but just know that there's many, many different ways to do the same recipe with different greens.
So the first thing we're going to do for our leafy greens saute is get started by just printing these individually. So I'm going to get a towel and get started. So I'm just going to rinse it in the water. Some of these heartier leafy greens tend to have more trouble with things like insects being on them.
So if there's any debris, any little eggs or anything that's not a leafy green that you want to eat, just make sure that you use your fingers and use a little bit of friction and get that off. And this is a bit more effective than just rinsing it in the sink.
And you can do this for any leafy green. Kale or Swiss chard are quite effective for this method. So we're just going to let these be over here. And it's OK if they're a little bit wet for this recipe. That's not a problem at all.
So what I'm going to do for starters is get our pan going. So I'm going to use this burner closest to me. And I'm going to use a cast iron pan. If you don't have a cast iron pan, no problem. Use any skillet are soft pan you have. It's totally unnecessary. I really like using cast irons.
It's kind of what's traditionally used for cooking collard greens. It's what's traditionally used for cooking a lot of skillet sautes. And it gives things a really nice flavor. They're easy to use. It's nonstick, and also, as a bonus, adds a little bit extra iron to your food.
So what we're going to do for starters is just chop our onion. Just going to chop off one end, chop off the other end, and cut my onion in half so I got to a flat surface. Just going to make sure all of my skin is peeled off. And there's a little extra layer here.
Now for this recipe, I'm just going to dice the onion. So there's many different ways to do it. There's probably 30 or more ways I know of to chop an onion. This is a really easy one. We're not worried about the size too much or the shape. We're just going to kind of go across with our knife and we're going to go across this way. I'm just going to use the backside of my knife so I don't dull the front side, and just push the onions over here.
Next thing I'm going to do is grab a couple cloves of garlic. If you don't like getting your hands all garlicky, that's OK. Minced garlic is a great way to save your hands from getting garlicky and it saves a little bit of effort. The little jars of pre-minced garlic are great if you want to save some time and still get the nice garlic flavor.
Nice, fresh onion. So for the garlic I'm going to use the back, or the side of my knife and just put it on here and use the back of my hand. And just very gently give it a tap. So what that's going to do is it's going to break off the skin for me so it makes it really easy to peel. You want to make sure all of your skins are peeled off, and then we'll put in our garlic press.
So you can chop the garlic just like we chopped the onion if you'd like, or if you have a garlic press, feel free to use that as well. If you've never used a garlic press, it's a very simple little contraption. It looks like this. Just put your garlic in here, put down the plunger. And we just press it. And I'll write it right into our pan in just a second.
So let's see-- we're going to add two tablespoons of olive oil to our pan. And yes, I'm going to eyeball it. That's close enough. You can also measure the oil based on the amount of greens that you have. If you have more greens, you can use a little more. If you don't have that much, you can use a little less.
I'm going to turn my heat down more to medium, medium-low for the onions, now that my pan is nice and hot. So one thing to know about cast iron pans is they take a while to heat up. So just make sure that they're nice and hot before you put anything in them. And one way to check is just to see if they handle's hot. So if the handle's warm, then your pan's nice and warm.
When we say saute, basically all we mean is we're just going to move this around in the pan with out spoon. And while this is cooking, I'm just going to set the garlic aside and we'll add that in a moment. Now we're going to tackle our Swiss chard. First, I'm going to wipe my eyes. Who knows of a good way to prevent the tearing from onions?
Contacts, some people wear goggles. If you have glasses, it helps. Some people actually put their onions in the freezer for a couple minutes before they cut them, and that helps. One thing to know is that the fresher the onion, the more potent the chemicals in it, the more likely it is to make you tear. So these are super, super fresh onions.
AUDIENCE: Are those collards?
ERIN HARNER: These are collard greens, yes. So collared greens are used in traditional southern cooking is where you see them most. They're often cooked for many, many hours, usually with, like, a ham hock or some bacon fat. There's many different ways to cook collards. This, I would say, was a little bit more healthy than many of the traditional southern cooking methods.
But even those traditional southern cooking methods are cooking leafy greens, so I'm happy about that. Sometimes collard greens can be a little bit trickier to get the stalks out, so you can use a knife if it's easier. So we'll see how this one goes. The stalks are extremely fibrous, so you don't want to necessarily add those if we're going to do this method of cooking, because they're going to take forever to cook.
I'm going to do the same thing I did with the previous recipe with the Swiss chard. I'm going to stack the greens and I'm going to chiffonade them. It's a French term meaning rag cuts, or rags.
So one fun fact about collard greens that's pretty interesting is that one cup of collard greens has about the same quantity of calcium as one cup of milk. And it's extremely absorbable calcium, so it's a good source of calcium. And many of these leafy greens are very, very high in calcium.
And collards are cruciferous vegetables, similar to broccoli and kale. So they have many of the same effects of the brassica family, similar compounds. So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to roll up my collard greens. And I'm going to cut these really finely. Because I want them to cook pretty rapidly, I want to cut them nice and fine so that they cook quicker.
If you want to simmer them for 50 minutes, an hour, feel free to make the cuts nice and thick. But because we want them to cook pretty quickly today, I'm going to cut them as fine as I can. So I'm going to make little tiny slivers, ideally between about an eighth inch and a quarter inch. So they're going to cook really rapidly.
You can see how fine those are, just little tiny threads. And I'm going to come across and cut it once this way, just so we don't have really long threads. You just kind of give them a toss. Let's see how our onions are doing over here. Looks like they're coming along well.
So with our onions, we want to just soften them. We don't necessarily want to brown them, because we're going to add our greens and our garlic and we're going to let them cook for a little while longer. Still affected by those onions. I'm going to take my garlic press and I'm going to squeeze right into the pan.
It takes a little bit of muscle, so give it a squeeze. And you can scrape the garlic right off with the spoon. I'm just going to use all the pieces. And garlic is really, really good for you. Same thing with the next one-- give it a squeeze. We're going to let this cook for another minute or two, and then we'll add in our greens.
So like I said at the beginning, you can use this recipe for any green that you've got-- ideally, a heartier green. The lighter greens like lettuces, you wouldn't want to use this for. But you could use it for spinach or escarole or something like that. The cooking time is just going to change. So the heartier the green, the longer the cooking time.
And what I mean by hearty is that the green is a lot harder to the touch. So there's a lot more fiber in there. And that's the other great thing about collard greens is there's actually five grams of fiber for every cup. So this is loaded with fiber and loaded with a number of other things, as you see from the nutrition information down at the bottom.
So if you want them really, really soft and tender, one of the best ways to do it is just cook them for hours in some water. If you want them a little bit firmer, a little bit more nutrition left at the end of the cooking process, you want to just chop them up finely and put them in a pan. So I'm going to put them in here and just saute them for a few minutes.
So the question was, is the cup of five grams of fiber and the equivalent to one glass of milk, is that raw collard greens, like we just had in my hand, or is it cooked? It's cooked. So they definitely wilt. They shrink a little bit when they're cooked. But because collard greens are such a hearty green, they don't lose as much volume as something like spinach.
Spinach would be a great thing to put in this recipe. And you can mix greens as well, like collards and cabbage are great together, that kind of thing. Just put the one that takes the longest to cook in first, and then add the other one when you think there's about the amount of time it's going to take to cook left in the cooking time.
So it takes a little bit of practice to figure out the timing of things. But you'll get it in no time if you just start cooking with greens. So as you can see, they're really starting to wilt down nicely. So something that I'm also going to do is I'm going add some salt, about half a teaspoon of salt, kind of a generous pinch.
One thing the salt's going to do is it's going to help make the color really bright green. It's going to help maintain that grassy color. If you don't add the salt when you add the greens, sometimes the greens start to get more of a hunter green instead of a bright grassy green, so the salt's going to help keep them nice and bright.
I'm going to let these cook for just another minute or two. This looks great. One of the surefire ways to know if it's done is just to taste it. So I'm going to get a fork and do just that.
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This recipe shows collard greens, but you can substitute any leafy green for this simple sauté. Demo presented by Cornell Wellness staff Erin Harner, RDN.