Leafy Greens in a Pinch

Shaw Girl
Momma always said to eat your vegetables, but I don't think she meant that tin of creamed corn. I never had trouble eating my veggies as a kid, but now that I have to cook for myself I've been noticing a lack of green -- and I don't just mean in my bank account. Leafy greens provide us with good stuff like Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, calcium and iron. Here are a few easy fixes to inject some leafy greens into things you are probably already eating:

1. Arugula - This green has the unique ability to provide us with many vitamins and minerals while actually tasting good raw. Arugula has a wonderful peppery bite that makes it perfect to toss into any pasta dish or use as topping for any pizza. Because it is so flavorful, arugula can also stand on its own in a side salad with just a simple vinaigrette. One of my favorite everyday arugula recipes is this one for sausage, tomato and arugula fettuccine.

2. Kale - Our own Katharine Shilcutt sang the praises of kale back in 2009, and I completely agree. As she mentioned, kale is not only cheap but provides a plethora of vitamins, minerals, protein and other health benefits. Kale is also a jack-of-all-trades in the kitchen; just make sure you cook until the ribs are tender. I like kale's meatiness -- it's one of the few vegetables that doesn't feel like rabbit food. Try it sautéed in olive oil and garlic then steamed until tender. It's equally delicious as an addition to soups, pastas and omelets.

3. Boston Lettuce - You may be surprised to see a plain, old lettuce on this list when there are other nutritious options like chard and spinach. Though slightly further down on the nutrition scale, Boston lettuce has the others beat when it comes to convenience. Perfect as a substitution for tortillas, it makes any food fork-free. I love to use this slightly sweet lettuce to make any Asian-inspired stir-fry into lettuce wraps. My favorite wrap recipe can be found here.

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anon today
anon today

Kale IS the new spinach. And screw olive oil - saute it in rendered bacon fat with shallots. Mmmmmm.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Poor, unappreciated kale! Thanks for giving it some love.

One of my favorite things about vacationing in England was seeing arugula called "rocket" everywhere on the menus over there. A rocket salad sounds so much more adventurous, no? But now I'm starting to see arugula called "rocket" over here, too. Which I'm strangely not on board with... /ramble


There is a really great green you can get in Rome called puntarelle. It's kind of like a cross between arugala and Belgian Endive. The classic way to serve it was in a simple salad. You sort of shaved it and then tossed it in a dressing of olive oil, garlic, anchovies, salt, and pepper. I still dream of that dish. If I had a yard (and not a small balcony in an upper floor of a high-rise), I would definitely try to grow puntarelle.

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