Prep 1:15 minutes | Makes Yield: 4 Servings | Source revised from foodnetwork.com
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the kale and shake off some of the water. Toss together the kale, garlic, peppers, 3 tablespoons of the oil, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Pile the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, covered with a sheet of parchment paper, until the kale is wilted and tender and the peppers are soft, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, coat the shrimp with the curry paste, the juice of 1 lime half and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
When the kale mixture is ready, remove the parchment from the top and toss it with a spatula. Top with an even layer of shrimp and roast until the shrimp are firm and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
Scatter the basil, cilantro, mint and cashews over top and squeeze with the remaining lime half. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice and lime wedges.
Prep 40 minutes | Makes Yield: 6 Servings | Source revised from foodnetwork.com
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and use your fingers to evenly spread it out and coat the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Scatter the cherry tomatoes on the baking sheet and shake it back and forth so they become evenly coated in the oil and seasoning. Arrange the chicken in the center of the baking sheet, pushing the tomatoes out to the perimeter, and drizzle the chicken with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
Bake until the tomatoes are soft, blistered and begin to burst, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the vinegar has reduced by half and is thick enough to coat back of the spoon, 7 to 8 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and drape a slice of mozzarella over each chicken breast. Bake until the cheese melts and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast has reached 160 degrees F, 5 to 7 minutes (the chicken will carryover cook to 165 F).
Sprinkle the chicken and tomatoes with the basil and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Spoon the collected pan juices over the tomatoes and chicken. Serve on a bed of arugula and with crusty bread to mop up the pan juices.
Prep 1:40 minutes | Makes Yield: 6-8 Servings | Source revised from foodnetwork.com
Special equipment: an 18-by-13-inch sheet pan
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Put 2 tablespoons olive oil and the garlic in a large skillet and place over medium heat. When the garlic sizzles and its edges start to brown, add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped basil.
Heat an 18-by-13-inch sheet pan in the oven for at least 10 minutes while you bread the eggplant. Line up 3 shallow dishes; fill one with the flour, one with the beaten eggs, and one with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with salt. Dredge an eggplant slice in the flour (tapping off excess), then dip in the egg, and finally dredge it in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
When all the eggplant slices are breaded, carefully remove the heated sheet pan from the oven and brush it with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the eggplant on the sheet pan in a single layer. Bake until the undersides are crisp and browned, 8 to 10 minutes, then flip the slices and continue baking until they are golden on the second side, 8 to 10 minutes more.
Top the baked eggplant with the tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Return the pan to the oven and bake, rotating halfway through, until the cheese melts and browns and the sauce is bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Top with torn basil before serving.
Source epicurious, A Visual Guide to Cooking Greens
Unlike the more delicately flavored and smaller-sized salad greens, this group of greens are hardy (in general, they tolerate colder weather better). In spite of all their differences in texture and taste, they are often interchangeable.
Most recipes call for some cooking to reduce bitterness, as well as to soften the leaves and stems to make them more palatable. Wilted, blanched, sautéed, braised, or even puréed, these greens add great balance and depth to any dish and pair especially well with garlic, lemon, and olive oil.
Kohlrabi. This vegetable—reminiscent in shape of a hot-air balloon— is usually found in the marketplace with the stem and leaves still attached to the bulb. The bulb can be eaten raw or cooked, but the leaves do need to be cooked before serving. The easiest method to prepare the leaves is to separate and discard the ribs and then sauté the leaves in olive oil and garlic. The bulb has been incorporated into cuisines around the world, from India to Germany, but it is primarily in the southern part of the United States that the leaves are consumed, usually prepared in a manner similar to collard greens.
Bokl Choy. Chinese cuisine has made this cabbagelike vegetable popular. Bok choy has a tender and mild flavor, especially the immature baby bok choy, shown on the left. Part of baby bok choy’s appeal is that you can cook the small vegetable whole, without breaking its leaves apart, thus adding a beautiful visual element to a dish. When cooking larger, more mature bok choy, cut the leaves from the stem and cook the stems first, since they will require a slightly longer cooking time.
Spinach. Though originally from Persia, this is one of the most common greens around and can be eaten both raw and cooked. Baby spinach, pictured on the right, is ideal in salads because it is so delicate and has a milder, less bitter taste than other greens. If you plan to cook spinach, purchase more than you think you’ll need, since cooking reduces its volume drastically. Unlike the other cooking greens in this guide, spinach is good for mixing with other foods—its flavor isn’t overpowering, and its delicate nature requires little preparation and a shorter cooking time, making it ideal for use in omelets.
Chard. This vegetable makes a bold statement with its large, thick, dark leaves and colored veins and stalks. The leaves taste somewhat like a more intense spinach, although the texture of chard leaves is nowhere near as smooth—or as soft. Don’t discard the stalks: They have a mellow flavor. The stems and the greens are best prepared separately to prevent the leaves from getting overcooked.
Collards Greens. A member of the cabbage family and closely related to kale, collard greens are often associated with Southern cooking in the United States. Typically they are cooked along with ham, pork, and various vegetables, as well as with other greens, such as kale. Collards have Mediterranean origins and pop up in plenty of cuisines.
Kale. Kale, another form of cabbage, has leaves that look like they’re a mix between collard and mustard greens. As with many other dark leafy greens, kale tastes slightly bitter when eaten raw, but unlike some of its relatives, cooked kale won’t lose its general shape or texture, nor will its volume reduce dramatically. For whatever reason, many cuisines pair kale with potatoes, as in recipes from Ireland.
Do you know about this edible flower? You might think at first glance that these Squash Blossoms are really more fancy restaurant fare, but they’re actually quite easy and versatile to prepare. These happy flowers are summer on a plate!
Fried: From Mexico to Italy, frying is one of the most popular ways to prepare squash blossoms. Batter and fry them or stuff them first with cheeses (ricotta, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese) and herbs (basil, thyme, parsley) all make good fillings.
Baked: If deep frying turns you off, or maybe you simply want to try something different, you could stuff the blossoms with cheese – savory or sweet – and then bake them in the oven. Steaming is another healthy option.
Pasta: Maybe you will enjoy topping your usual favorite, gently tear or make a chiffonade of squash blossoms to serve over pasta, cook into pasta sauce, risotto, or salad.
Quesadilla: Squash blossoms are abundant in Mexico and well known as flores de calabaza. There’s something very satisfying about the combination of the mildly sweet, squash-y blossoms with creamy cheese.
Soup: How about a fresh, Riehm vegetable based summery soup with squash blossoms, zucchini, and corn?
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