Summer is here—finally! It took its sweet time getting to us in Maine; as recently as last weekend, when our girls were home with us, we were wearing flannel shirts and jeans. Now we’re roasting in the low 90s. It’s too hot to cook—unless we're talking about cooking greens. That requires turning on the stove for all of about 5 minutes. Even on the hottest days—like yesterday—we can manage that.
Thank goodness, because we are awash in greens right now. We have arugula and red orach in our own garden and a bounty of chard, kale, cabbage, and mixed lettuces from our farm share. We’re eating two salads a day and still not keeping up. It’s a heavenly dilemma, but it still needs to be solved.
I found this quick and easy answer over at Heidi Swanson's 101cookbooks.com. We made it last night for Anna and Andy, and they gave it rave reviews. “Mom, no wonder you love this,” Anna said. “This is just the warmed-up version of that Tuscan kale salad you’re addicted to.” Of course!
I'll definitely be making this again—and not just in the summer. Next time I’m going to try topping the greens with homemade croutons and a drizzle of lemon juice. Then I really will have the warmed-up version of my favorite salad. In the meantime, kudos and a big thank-you to Heidi Swanson!
GARLICKY SAUTEED GREENS
The greens take only about 3 minutes to cook, so don’t fire up the burner until just before you’re ready to eat. The amount below serves two hearty eaters.
About 6 packed cups kale, chard, spinach, tatsoi, etc.—really, any hardy green
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
If necessary, rinse your greens and pat them dry. Then chop them coarsely. I like to use the stems as well.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until it’s hot enough to hiss when you add a drop of water. Add a few pinches of sea salt and the greens and stir about 1 minute, maybe 2—I like my greens just barely heated through, so they still retain some vibrancy. Just before you’re ready to take the skillet off the heat, add the garlic. Stir again, remove the skillet from the heat, and then stir in the Parmesan and the red pepper flakes. Add more salt if needed and serve at once.