Quick Combos: Cooking with Greens, Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Cinnamon Apples, Radish Vinaigrette
A note on greens: Fall and winter greens are extremely flexible ingredients – they can all be sauteed, stir-fried, braised, or eaten raw. When switching out greens in your favorite recipe, adapt the cooking time accordingly. Tender, leafy greens (i.e. spinach, chard) cook much more quickly than sturdier ones (i.e. collards, cabbage). Some greens tend more towards the bitter end of the flavor spectrum, so this is another factor to take into account – taste any that are new and get to know your preference for those you prefer raw and those you like cooked a little longer.
A Spanish-inflected frittata makes quick work of dinner. Saute greens, onions, and garlic in a 9″ ovenproof skillet. When vegetables are tender, add 1 c cooked chickpeas and season to taste with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Lightly beat 5 eggs and pour evenly over vegetables and chickpeas. Cook gently over medium-low heat until almost set, about 10 minutes, then place under broiler until top browns. Serve warm or at room temperature with crusty bread.
Shave fresh corn kernels off the cob and stir into classic polenta during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Add a dollop of mascarpone or a drizzle of cream and serve topped with sauteed mushrooms or braised greens.
Sweet Potatoes, Louisiana Shallots
For crispy sweet potato latkes, grate 1 pound of peeled sweet potatoes and toss thoroughly with 3 minced Louisiana shallots, salt, pepper, 1 lightly beaten egg, and 2 T cracker crumbs or panko breadcrumbs. Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet; when hot, place scoops of latke mixture in the oil and press down with the back of a spatula. When crisp and brown, flip over to cook the other side. Drain on a rack or on a brown paper sack and serve at once with plain yogurt or sour cream.
Cinnamon apples are the after-school snack our childhood memories are built upon. Slice apples and arrange on a plate, then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Serve with a glass of ice cold milk.
Crunchy, peppery radishes are a perfect match for a curried citrus vinaigrette: add 1/4 c freshly-squeezed Meyer lemon or orange juice and 1 t curry powder to a blender container; with the blender running, drizzle in 3/4 c olive oil until emulsified. Wash and quarter 1 small bunch of radishes, toss with the vinaigrette, and serve. Add crisp lettuce leaves and grilled chicken for a hearty lunch.