Grains and Greens

More gems from the garden: turnip greens!

Inspired by Mark Bittman’s dictum to eat whole grains, everyday, I mixed this with bulgar for a hearty, healthy, meal. You’ll note that I didn’t say “attractive.” While tasty and nutritious, the look of the final product can only be described as Moosewood circa 1982:


Nevertheless, since it’s an interesting cooking technique and good for you, too, I thought I’d pass it along. The original version of this came from Paula Wolfert’s Mediterranean Grains and Greens, but I’ve long since lost the recipe. My version was a tad on the bland side—I think hers involved some harissa or dill or something, which would have been nice.

Grains and Greens

1 big bunch turnip greens, sliced very thinly
1 onion, diced
1 T olive oil
1 c. bulgar
about 2 T of water

1) Saute the onion in the oil in a large, deep skillet.

2) Add the salt, the greens, and the bulgar to the pan and turn the heat down to low. Mix everything together very carefully. Your skillet will now look like this:

3) Put the lid on and cook for about 20 minutes. You’ll notice that I didn’t tell you to add any water. That’s not a mistake. Assuming your greens are fresh and that you’ve cleaned them properly, they contain enough moisture to steam the grains without added water. After about 20 minutes or so, check it to make sure that it’s not burning or sticking. You might want to add a couple of tablespoons of water or so, but if it’s still moist in there you might not need it. Let it cook another 10 minutes, turn off the heat, and let it continue to steam for another 10 minutes with the heat off.

Between the turnip greens and the bulgar, you are entitled to feel very self-righteous when you eat this.

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3 comments to Grains and Greens

  • If you caramelize the onion, it becomes more flavorful.

    The downside is that process usually takes something like 30 minutes depending on the amount of onion in your skillet.

  • dorisgoat

    Great idea! Everything’s better with caramelized onion.

  • Beverly

    If you carmelize up a lot of onions at once (works great in a well seasoned wok or cast iron skillet), you can put them into zip lock baggies and freeze them to pull out at a future date and save yourself all those 30 minuteses.