THE TIME HAS ARRIVED!
The first share week! The freshest greens in months with the brightest flavours and colours! And this week’s share was GENEROUS.
Jane and Charles (me) are excited to keep this blog running for another exciting season of delicious produce, and we’re also really looking forward to hearing your own ideas and recipes!
We learned recently from a food blog that ‘saag’ doesn’t have to mean spinach, so we used this recipe to pack a load of greens into a huge meal prep for the week ahead. We’ll include our steps and process below!
But the ideas don’t stop there. Here’s a list of some great greens ideas for your week ahead:
- Greens-rich Quiche
- Pasta with sauteed greens
- Big ole salad (massage the mustards and kales and chop them to mix them in with softer things like lettuces) (or try this Spinach Salad with Lemon and Mint)
- Steam/blanche the greens and blend them with herbs, then freeze them in ice cubes for a quick addition of vitamins and flavour to a future dish! (like this recipe)
- Try a savoury oatmeal with blanched, steamed, or fried greens, yoghurt, oats, nuts, and a lovely olive oil.
- Garden Greens Vichyssoise (which I guess is technically only Vichyssoise if it comes from the Vichy region in France? …. I kid, I kid)
We landed on this Saag Paneer recipe because we wanted to aim for something hearty that would help carry us through the week. We used ALL of the spinach, the mustard greens, AND the kale! It resulted in a slightly bitter (in a good way!) and extremely rich saag that tastes amazing served with yoghurt over rice.
Apparently making your own paneer is really easy? We did not do so. Have at it if that is your thing – the saag recipe we followed included a link to this paneer process. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!
If buying or making paneer is not on the table, you could use a medium firm or firm tofu, and even give it a bit of marination time in a little bit of lemon and miso to give it a bit of equivalent tang. And of course a saag goes swimmingly with chickpeas, potatoes, or whatever other addition you can think of.
- 2 tablespoons ghee store-bought or homemade (or use 1tbsp butter and 1tbsp olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- Pinch of hing asafedita (if available!)
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 serrano chiles finely chopped (optional – we didn’t use)
- 12-19 ounces of greens any combination of spinach, mustard greens, kale, and arugula – note that more mustard greens will make for a more bitter saag, and more spinach and arugula will make for a sweeter and tangier saag
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces Paneer home-made or store-bought, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Basmati rice for serving
- Chapatis for serving optional
- Cream or coconut cream optional
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cardamom, cumin, chili/cayenne powder, mustard seeds and hing and sauté until the mustard seeds begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat the medium, add the onion and sauté until translucent and light golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ginger-garlic paste and serranos and sauté over medium-low heat for two more minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Add the greens and sauté, raising the heat gradually to medium, until the greens are wilted and the kale and mustard are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Transfer the greens to a food processor. Add the mint and pulse until chunky but not uniform. We ended up adding almost a cup of water to thin the sauce enough to blend well, but if you’re adding cream or coconut cream, that might help too. Stir in the lemon juice and a generous 1/2 teaspoon of salt (use a little less if you’re using salty store-bought ginger-garlic paste) and return the mixture to the sauté pan. Set the pan over medium-low heat and gently stir in the paneer, being careful not to break it up. Cook until the paneer and the saag are heated through, 4 to 6 minutes.
To serve, spoon the sag and paneer into a serving bowl or individual bowls, drizzle with melted ghee or yoghurt if desired, and garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and a few more fresh mint leaves..