Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Save Some Green by Saving Greens

My garden exploded while we were away at the beach on the Memorial Day weekend. Particularly impressive were the kale and collard greens. I had to pick a bunch of it if more leaves were going to come in during the rest of the early harvest. Remembering Alton Brown's bizarre advice from an episode of Good Eats, I decided to wash, chop, and dry the greens in the laundry dryer and store them in the fridge for future use. (see below for a tasty dish or here for a before picture)

A bag of prepped homegrown greens would be a great asset, perfect for soups, sautees, green smoothies, etc. This sounded simple enough, but if I was gonna keep the greens from going bad quickly, drying them would be crucial. That's where Alton goes off the deep end... and, I went with him.

After submerging the leaves in a full sink and swirling them in the water, I took them out and chopped them. The pile was enormous. Way too much for my tiny salad spinner. Alton said toss them all in an old pillowcase, tie it up and toss it in the dryer. Well, that's how I remember it from the TV show, anyways.

When I got them out of the dryer, the pillowcase had turned green. Inside, the greens were very green and wilting a little. It seems that I was supposed to set the dryer for fluff air, but I'd just left it on permanent press. (upon further inspection, it seems that Alton didn't use a dryer at all. He used the spin cycle of his washing machine. Oh man, I'm dumb. At least I didn't throw a fabric softener sheet in there.) Oops. Guess, I didn't have dry greens after all. Better get to cooking.

My first recipe would be an egg white omelet (where did I get all the egg whites?) I stuff it with greens that I blanched in water and then sauteed with red onions and garlic. Of course, there must be cheese. I went with a generic preshredded Italian mix from a bag and a bit of my own parmigiano reggiano. The resulting dish tasted brilliant. A dash of balsamic in the greens cut whatever bitterness remained after the blanching.

Now, I've still got a couple pounds left and I need to use them up quick. I'm not at a loss for ideas, but I'm open to suggestions. Better yet, just do what I did (except for the dryer misstep) and fill your crisper with greens for weeks to come.

Check out that 8" chefs knife in the 2nd picture. It's an Analon Advanced made of German carbon steel. Marshall's had loads of them for $15 each (including a cool Santoku, as well). If that weren't enough of a bargain, I waited until this one showed up on clearance for $10. It's quite a culinary weapon. But, if I were on the market for the best, I'd probably aim slightly lower than the Ken Shun for $250 and seek out this one.


  1. Off the topic of food but on the topic of saving money - in the long run. I took my car for an oil change yesterday and was speaking with the mechanics about gasoline. My car calls for premium, could I get away with the cheaper grades? Seems I can alternate but for the most part, no.

    Of more interest to the general public was what they said about Sheetz an WaWa, the discount gasolines. According to them they use the lowest level of detergents allowed by law. They are seeing a huge increase in the number of issues from the carbon build-ups as people use these brands more and more in the face of skyrocketing gas prices. Very expensive repairs. Their advice was to alternate between the premium brands and the discount brands to avoid these problems. If you've been buying the cheap stuff, as I have, run 3 or 4 tanks of the premium brands to clean out the gunk. They recommended BP as the best. Or you could avoid both the expensive repairs and the cost of gas and bike everywhere (we really need more bike lanes in Richmond...)

    BTW - The omelette looked really good. Glad you could salvage something from the aioli debacle.

  2. Oh man. That looks amazing. :)

    Again, wishing I had kitchen skills.



This site has moved to http://www.rvafoodie.com
Please comment there instead.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.