“The Power Greens Cookbook: 140 Delicious Superfood Recipes.” By Dana Jacobi. Ballantine Books, New York. $22.

Here’s a dead obvious way to kick- start your New Year’s resolutions, even if you don’t want to diet: Eat more greens.

Dana Jacobi is here to help you out, with “The Power Greens Cookbook.” It’s a no-nonsense, fresh take on the many, many non-shake ways to eat your greens.

I loved that the book started out with a “Let’s be real” section on how these greens can be bitter, tough, take time to prepare and tricky to cook. Jacobi walks through specific strategies to reduce bitterness and preserve texture – like short-cooking the greens in a small amount of boiling water and then chilling them quickly under cold running water.

In another section, she focuses on 15 power greens, from arugula to watercress, and gives a tutorial on what each is, what to look for when buying it, how to store it, techniques for washing, prepping and cooking it, and a “top five” ways to use it. This section alone is worth buying the whole cookbook for me, since I frequently stand in my grocery store contemplating the exotic, only to grab the bok choy – again – and some broccoli. Maybe some kale or spinach to throw in a blender.

No more. I’m stuffing the pork loin with broccoli rabe and steaming salmon in a cabbage leaf.

The recipes are divided into courses, but I found what was listed as a main dish could easily be a side, and vice versa.

The “serves 4” kale salad I made got wiped out by two people, but one was a growing 12-year-old, so take that into account. The dishes are not elaborate, which I liked, and the kale salad worked with a mix of tender greens with the counterpoint of crunchy pine nuts and sweet raisins.

So here’s my resolution: 2017 will be the year of the greens in my house. – NOEL GALLAGHER

1132462_639835 kalesalad.jpg

TUSCAN KALE WITH RAISINS AND PINE NUTS

Serves 4

Vegan and gluten-free

½ cup golden raisins

2 bunches Tuscan kale (8 to 10 ounces each), center veins and stems removed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped (½ cup)

2 to 4 anchovy fillets, optional

¼ cup pine nuts

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons dried currants

1. In a bowl, soak the raisins in ¼ cup hot tap water until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. In a covered, large saucepan, boil 8 cups of water over high heat. Add the kale, pushing it into the water with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the kale is tender to your taste. Drain the kale in a colander, then run cold water over it while swishing with your hand until it feels cool, 30 seconds. Gather the kale and squeeze it to remove excess water. Coarsely chop the kale and pull it apart; there will be about 4 cups.

3. In a deep medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until it is golden, 6 minutes. Mash in the anchovies, if using. Stir in the kale until it looks shiny. Add the raisins, pine nuts and 1¼ cups water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has evaporated and the kale is very tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the kale to a serving bowl. Sprinkle on the currants, and serve. Leftovers keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Cook’s tip: For broccoli rabe, use 1 large bunch (1½ pounds) Short-cook for 4 minutes before braising. Spinach and chard do not need short-cooking.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: