What's In Season: Leafy Greens

Beyond Spinach

What's In Season: Leafy Greens

Beyond Spinach

The last time I went to the eye doctor he asked if I ate much of what he called "leafy greens." My opthamologist knew that I have a big interest in cooking and here he was -- asking me for recipes.

Turns out that greens like Swiss chard, kale, and broccoli rabe are particularly great for eye health.  And they also have wonderful flavor.  A New York Times article quoted nutritionist Jonny Bowden, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, as saying that Swiss chard was one of "the 11 best foods you aren't eating." (You want to know the other 10? Beets, cabbage, cinnamon, pomegranate juice, prunes, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, frozen blueberries, and canned pumpkin.)

Thankfully many leafy greens -- especially the more familiar spinach and broccoli rabe -- are available year-round, but if you're new to eating them or want to try a new variety, you'll have a happier introduction if you buy them locally grown during their summer and autumn growing seasons and then cook them simply.

Buying, Storing and Cooking With Leafy Greens

While available year-round, the fall is the best time to buy greens from our grocery markets and Greenmarkets and farmers' markets.  Here are a few tips for cooking them.


The recipe databases like Epicurious.com and FoodAndWine.com have lots of recipes for leafy greens so the next time you see a bunch of something unfamiliar at the Greenmarket or grocer, take some home and give it a try. The nutritionists and eye doctors may call them super foods for their nutritional power, but I'll call them super foods for their flavor.

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