7 best greens and how to cook them


7 best greens and how to cook them

In partnership with our friends from Willo

Leafy greens are dietary strength. They can provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. They can also taste amazing in deliciously dressed salads or on top of them, long-stewed stews, stews, quick fries – the possibilities continue. To help you decide what to cook as you stare at a green wall of groceries, a cattle market or a CSA box: a pocket guide to our seven favorite greens with tips on how to work with them and recipes to try now.


When it comes to greens, as with all foods, the source is important. Before you washing, preparation, and cook, make an informed purchase. Although you can find most of the greens on our list in supermarkets, it is fun to explore special varieties at or through agricultural markets. CSA boxes.

If you are looking for a green experience that is truly exceptional, Willo, a sustainably focused vertical agriculture service, is for you. The company was founded with just goals to help eradicate hunger, make agriculture more sustainable and provide nutritious products to support people’s overall health. Its vertical cultivation technology allows for high efficiency: crops grown without soil and with little water, lit by LED lamps, with the potential to provide over 200 times more food per hectare than traditional agriculture. It also provides complete customization. You can manage your own field within the vertical Willo farm, selecting crops and tracking their growth via the app on your phone. Once harvested, they are delivered to you weekly or fortnightly so you can get fresh, nutritious and delicious greens as often as you like.

There are some options you already know and love, like spinach and kale; some rarer species, such as mizuna greens and alam beets; and some options that Willo cultivated himself. Willo Genovese basil is based on a variety that is almost impossible to grow outside of northern Italy (and was too fragile to import). Willo has managed to recreate a growing climate that desperately needs special plants to be able to grow and enjoy all year round. Willo’s next farm will launch later this fall and recently opened a membership for most major metropolitan areas.


We all remember the great flowering of kale from the 2010s. Kale is now widely known, and several types are available in most stores. (We mostly use curly kale, lacinato kale, and red Russian kale.) Like most hearty cabbage, kale can withstand a lot of cooking. And while its taste is strong and a bit bitter, it plays well with others, especially bold, sharp ingredients like garlic, chili and vinegar. You can cook it quickly and hot, simmer lightly and slowly, add it to stews or ovens or grill for crispiness and charring.

Kale can taste great when used raw, and that firm texture makes for a salad that can stay for hours, if not days, after dressing. It only takes a little preparation to not look like rough food. Simply massage the kale with a little olive oil and let it stand for ten minutes to soften a bit before assembling and dressing the rest of the salad. If you don’t have time for that, slice it thin, almost like chiffonade, so it will really soak up the topping and be more comfortable to chew.

One way to get around preparing for the use of raw kale in salads: Go for baby kale. It is the same plant, just harvested earlier, so the younger leaves are smaller and the texture is much softer. Use it as arugula or spring mix.


Spinach is one of the most popular greens in the world. It has a mild taste, is easy to prepare and can go with almost anything. Ripe spinach leaves are larger and healthier, have a slightly more earthy taste and usually come with attached stems. It can be blanched, steamed, stewed or stewed in soups and stews. Be sure to wash them well and remove all dirt. Baby spinach is usually better for salads because it comes without semolina and with smaller, tender leaves. Because baby spinach tastes mild, it is almost imperceptible in smoothies.


If you’ve never tried chard before, it falls somewhere between kale and spinach. It’s not quite as fibrous as kale, but it’s certainly harder than spinach. Which makes it perfect for apps that could crash in the meantime when you suddenly need something delicate and solid. Unlike kale, its stems are both tasty and nutritious and can be added along with the leaves to what you are cooking. Or cut them off and pickle for later. If you can find chard, it is wonderful in salads. We prefer fully grown chard cooked – even if it’s so tender. Try stewed, fried or steamed.


This may be common in grocery stores, but when you take a minute to think, rocket is quite impressive. It has a delicate texture and a robust, peppery taste: satisfying juxtapositions. Arugula in salad mixes is a favorite, in part because it complements other types of greens. This sharp flavor makes it a natural blend with hearty cooked elements, such as zucchini or cereals, or when added to pasta and pizzas at the last minute, so it withers slightly. It is also a reliable addition to basil in pesto.


When we think of greens, we usually think of it as a basic ingredient of the American South, with a cooking tradition that originated with slaves from Africa. This method usually involves cooking cabbage grains low and slow, with flavors, such as onions and garlic, and dried meats, such as bacon or ham. This long cooking time not only softens the greens, but in addition to subtlety it also brings subtle minerality. Absolutely worth the wait. There are many other ways you can use greenery. The texture is smoother than kale, but the same cooking instructions apply. We have also had success in using greens in the form of a wrapper and its fermentation.


Bok choy is one of the simplest greens to love. And if you’re new to cooking Chinese food, this is a wonderful ingredient to start with. It’s fresh, refreshing and a bit sweet with a clean finish. It is just as delicious raw in a salad as stewed, grilled or fried. Baby bok choy is a smaller variety that is widely available, but other varieties are gaining popularity in Western grocery stores as well. Sizes vary, along with the ratio of stem and leaf, but they are all delicious and fun to play with.


If you love arugula, you’ll probably like mizuna. Slightly less pepper with bright citrus notes. The texture is somewhat similar to hairdressers, with leafy tops and long delicate stems. Mizuna is a natural convenience for salads, and is often used cooked or fermented in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Cook it quickly and hot in a wok or add a handful to the soup just before serving.

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