How to store, prep and cook Spring Greens

Love spring greens but not sure what to do with them? Well, it’s your lucky day as we have our wonderful guest chef & ODDBOX blogger Storm (@whatstormeats) to guide you through not just how to store, prep and cook these leafy vegetables, but also show us how to make a mouth-wateringly delicious spring greens recipe in the space of just fifteen minutes!

Spring greens are a great addition to so many dishes. They are wonderfully versatile with a great earthy flavour and packed full of nutrients!

Here’s a few tips on what to do with them:

two plate pasta with spring greens

PREPARE THEM BY…

  • Removing the leaves from the cabbage and rinsing under cold water gently.  The leaves should be fresh and firm. 

STORE THEM BY…

  • Putting them in the fridge and using within a couple of days. 

COOK THEM BY…

  • Stir-frying them quickly in a little olive oil or butter, steaming them for 5 minutes, or adding to soups.
  • They are also great in a pesto, the raw leaves blitzed up with nuts, olive oil and hard Italian cheese and tossed through pasta. 

TRY TO AVOID...

  • Overcooking them, as they will lose their structure and fresh taste.

SPRING GREEN, GARLIC AND CHILLI ORECCHIETTE WITH A ROSEMARY PANGRATTATO 

This is a great recipe now the weather is starting to get better; it combines wonderfully earthy spring greens, with gorgeous garlic and punchy chilli.  Orecchiette translates to “little ears” in Italian and is one of my favourite pasta shapes; the tiny little curve shapes catch all the delicious oils and crunchy bits in this dish. You could, however easily swap it for any pasta you have in. Leave out the parmesan if you are vegan. The crunch of the pangrattato or breadcrumbs adds a lovely texture to the dish so much so, that you’ll be adding it to everything!

DETAILS:

1 frying pan, 1 saucepan, food processor

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2 generously (can be doubled for 4) 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 150g of spring greens 
  • 4 large cloves of garlic 
  • A thumb sized piece of red chilli
  • A Couple of sprigs of rosemary 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 50ml of good quality olive oil (and a little extra to drizzle at the end!)
  • 50g of grated parmesan or pecorino  
  • 200g dried Orrecheitte pasta
  • 15g of panko bread crumbs (or any other breadcrumbs you have -
    leftover stale bread would also work!)

RECIPE:

  1. In a pan on a medium heat, add a splash of good quality olive oil, a little pinch of salt and toast your breadcrumbs with the sprigs of rosemary (without the stalks as these can be a bit woody!). Keep moving them in the pan to avoid burning. Once golden and your kitchen is filled with the heady aroma of rosemary, remove from the heat. Blitz in a food processor and set aside. This is your rosemary pangrattato. This recipe makes extra so pop it in a Tupperware to sprinkle on everything! 
  2. You will now need to slice your greens into ribbons. Use up everything; I particularly love the stalks in this dish for a little crunch.
  3. Fill your saucepan up with water and bring to the boil. Remember to season the water with plenty of salt. Add your pasta to the water and cook until al dente. Probably around 10-12 minutes. 
  4. Whilst your pasta is cooking, finely slice all of your garlic and chilli and fry them off on a low heat in the 50ml of good olive oil. Be careful not to burn them - you want the flavours to infuse into the oil. You don’t want to cook them any longer than a couple of minutes. 
  5. Add the stalks of your sliced greens to our garlicky chilli oil, and quickly stir-fry. Next, add the leaves, as these need less time to cook. You still want them to be beautiful and vibrantly green so they don’t need cooking for very long at all! Season generously with sea salt. 
  6. Add your cooked pasta to your greens with a little more olive oil, half of your cheese and gently toss until all the pasta is coated in that gorgeous oily bits and pieces.
  7. Serve immediately with the rest of your cheese, a little extra fresh chilli, top with your crunchy breadcrumbs and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
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