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!


  1. girl! I am in the former picky eater crowd too!
    And I gotta tell you, once you find a beet you like, you will never turn back. Here's what I do:
    Rinse, cover in foil, and bake them in the oven for about 45 min, the skins will peel right off after. Let cool and chop roughly, then toss with either feta or blue cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. One of my favorite winter salads. They are like a sweeter, juicier version of a potato. And I love their fuschia color.
    Also, boil cauliflower until it's tender, mash, mix with sour cream, butter, garlic, and cheese if you like, and it's a yummy, lower carb version of mashed potatoes!

  2. That looks amazingly delicious!

  3. Quiche is a great idea for greens!
    I never even thought of that.
    Good one, April.

    And...I like your list of foods you might like one day, and foods you hate forever.
    Everyone has some sort of quirks with their eating :)

  4. anything that starts with onion, garlic, and butter i am ALL ABOUT!
    also its vegetarian so consider this on my TO MAKE LIST!