For a lover of greens, March is the perfect month of the year. And it's not just because she can play up green foods on St. Patty's Day! Winter greens are still in season while early spring varieties are starting to crop up at markets. If you'd love to be in love with greens but just haven't found your leafy green soul mate, March is the perfect time to experiment with inexpensive greens that are fresh and abundant. Green it up with three seasonal greens and five healthy greens recipes.
A few seasonal varieties are spinach, collard greens and mustard greens.
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- Spinach: In season from March to May (and also September to October), spinach is one of the most popular varieties of greens. And for good reason. It can be eaten raw or cooked and works well with a variety of cuisines. Spinach is versatile due to its relatively mild flavor and texture compared to other greens.
- Collard Greens: In season from January to April, collards are an essential for Southern cuisine. But, instead of overcooking the greens until they're nutritionally devoid mush, try steaming them to highlight their flavor. The flavor is a cross between cabbage and kale. In fact, collards can stand in for either cabbage or kale in most recipes.
- Mustard Greens: In season from December to April, mustard greens have a strong, peppery flavor. Mustard greens, like collards, are popular in Southern cooking. They can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, sauteed or simmered. Be sure to eat them as fresh as possible, as they can get bitter if they sit in your crisper for too long.
Try seasonal greens in these five simple healthy recipes.
- Wilted Greens with Pinot Pears: This dish will work great with mustard greens or spinach (note: spinach's cooking time will be less than that of heartier greens). It's a great time to make it since pears are in season, too. Use Gorgonzola or bleu cheese to complement the pears. And the best part? Pairing it with the rest of that bottle of Pinot Noir you used in the sauce.
- Wild Greens with Fried Eggs: Have some farm fresh eggs to pair with your greens? The fattiness of the eggs is an amazing way to bring out the richness of the greens. Try it with collard greens or mustard greens.
- Pesto Sauce: You can make pesto sauce with just about any green, not just basil. Spinach pesto is a great sauce to make now. And remember chard pesto and even vegan kale pesto when those greens are plentiful. Pesto is a great recipe to whip up when you get too many greens from your garden or CSA box.
- Easy Garlicky Greens: Our easy garlicky beet greens recipe can be converted to use with collards or mustard greens in a snap. To make with spinach, reduce the saute time to about two minutes.
- Fresh and Seasonal Spinach Spanakopita Recipe: If you're making your own phyllo dough, this recipe is a little more advanced. But the spinach pies themselves are pretty simple to whip up. You can also vary the greens based on what's available.
Keep in touch with Kristi on Twitter @VeggieConverter