Monday, December 21, 2009

Culinary Q&A: What are you supposed to do/can do with the green parts of green onions, leeks, radishes?

Question: What are you supposed to do/can do with the green parts of green onions, leeks, radishes? Is the green part merely superficial or can you use it/eat it in some fashion?? I just made potato-leek soup and I felt so bad tossing all that pretty green stuff!!! Do tell...

Answer: Yes! Don’t hate-on (or trash) the green stuff! Many of the vegetable’s nutrients can be found in the greens that are often discarded too soon. Sturdier greens, like the ends of leeks, scallions or fennel frawns are great for making flavorful and nutrient rich stock.

Vegetables with small and tender leaves, like radishes, can be a great addition to any lettuce of salad greens mixtures. For larger leafy greens (*think beets*), remove the center vein and use them as you would Swiss chard or kale.

Sautéed Beet Greens

2 Tbs Butter
1 Garlic Clove, minced
⅛ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbs Shallot, minced
Leaves from 6-8 Medium Beets
Salt and Pepper

Thoroughly rinse leaves and spin dry. Roughly chop the leaves into 2-3 inch pieces (they will shrink while cooking). Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium low heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Toss in leaves and cover the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes then remove the lid and let cook uncovered for an addition minute, allowing the excess moisture to evaporate. Season with salt and pepper, serve warm.

Basic Chicken Stock

1 Chicken Carcass (meat removed)
2 Carrots
2 Celery Stalks
1 Onion, cut into eights
3 Garlic Cloves
5 Black Pepper Corns
Greens from 1 Leek
Fennel Fawns from 1 bulb of fennel
2-3 Quarts of water (*4 cups in quart)

In a large soup pot combine all ingredients. Let stock simmer on medium low for 2-3 hours, trying to avoid boiling. Remove carcass and strain stock. Store stock in the refrigerator for up 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 month.


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