Monday, November 1, 2010

On Turnip Greens, and How to Make Them Tasty

Do you want to know something funny?

I used to be a picky eater. When I was little, I didn't like: cheese (in all forms except for pizza - because I didn't realize that white stuff on top was a form of the dreaded dairy product), milk, eggs, beans, green beans, most other vegetables save carrots, and oh, the list goes on. As I got older and my mom started cooking with fresher veggies, I developed a taste for zucchini and asparagus, and I would eat cheese in certain forms (mac and cheese, on pasta, etc.). I went to college, and started to appreciate cheese even more (you can't be around Mark and NOT like cheese). But just in probably the last 2 years, I've really branched out. It's because I want to, not because someone is making me - there are no "Okay, if you eat 6 green beans, you can have dessert" discussions, no "But I don't LIKE that" coming from me. My list of things that I do not like has become very short.

Things April Does Not Like:
-beans (I try, and try, and try, and I just can't do it.)
-peas (see above.)

Things April Is Still A Bit Wary of But Hasn't Given Up Hope On Because She Has Yet to Find a Really, Really Good Promising Recipe and/or Hasn't Received Any In Her C.S.A Box:
-beets (Lissa swears I'll like them)
-brussel sprouts (I've never actually had a brussel sprout, so I can't make a judgment call - and besides, they're so pretty!)

Greens used to make the top of the April Does Not Like list, but after I got my CSA, I became considerably more open-minded, and they moved down to the second list. I waited for about 3 months, and then came the faithful day - turnip greens showed up in my CSA box. Turnips, for some reason, scared me more than others. I hear of delightful recipes made with Swiss chard all the time, I already like kale chips pretty well, but the turnip/mustard/collard greens, I was terribly wary of.

But at the start of my CSA adventure, I promised myself that I would branch out, try new things, learn to like vegetables that I'd never even given a chance. I also refuse to waste CSA veggies. So I started my search for the perfect recipe.

Not surprisingly, it ended with a quiche. It's funny - quiche is made of all the things I hated when I was a little girl: eggs, milk, cheese, and vegetables (and the occasional meat.) And it happens to be one my my favorite foods now, and one of the most frequently-made dishes in my kitchen. I've gotten so comfortable with quiche that I don't even refer to a recipe anymore :) (A far cry from my quiche-gone-splat-on-the-floor from this past May...)

I started with most of an onion and a big clove of garlic, sauteeing in a big pan with butter.

Then I chopped some mushrooms and added them to the onions.

And then came the greens. They didn't look nearly as daunting as I felt that they were...

I roughly chopped them, and threw them in the pan with some more butter.

After sauteing for a minute or two, I put the lid on to let them wilt.

While the greens were wilting, I mixed together the liquid mixture. I used 5 pretty farm eggs...

 ...1/2 cup milk, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

After that was all whisked together, I checked on the greens, etc. They were perfectly wilted :)

 Then I mixed it all together, plus about 4 oz. cheese (which sounds like not all that much, but it's a good bit!), in a big bowl.

And dumped it in a pie crust. (Not homemade - I fail. I need to make a whole bunch of pie crusts at once, and freeze them.)

Into the oven at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes, and voila!

Lovely, cheesy quiche with healthy greens! What a success.
My next challenge will be to not mask the actual flavor of the greens with all that cheese and eggs!