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Market Watch: Eat Your Greens

Lulu Meyer, associate director of operations at CUESA, brings us weekly updates for the best of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market—rain (and oh, is it raining) or shine.

Winter greens, packed with good-for-you vitamins, are at their prime right now. Braised, sautéed or wilted in soups they add great texture and flavor to many recipes. With all the the rain and gloomy weather this week I started dreaming about things that are best cooked slowly and eaten out of bowls. At the market I gravitated towards the beautiful greens currently available and found some of my personal favorites.

Nettles
CUESA’s market chef recently demonstrated her recipe for a Spanish tortilla featuring Yukon gold potatoes and stinging nettles that was divine. Nettles have an earthy rich flavor that I just love, especially in a hearty soup or with fresh pasta. They also make for a great winter pesto and make a tasty addition to scrambled eggs. Find them now at Star Route and Heirloom Organic Gardens.

Spigarello

Sometimes called brocolli spigarello or cima di rape, spigarello is a relative of broccoli and a mild and pleasant braising green that is perfect served with creamy white beans or a squeeze of lemon juice, or all by itself with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of red pepper flakes. You’ll find this versatile veggie at County Line’s stand.

Dandelion Greens
They can be a tad on the bitter side and are best when balanced with something creamy. I like to sauté mine with olive oil and garlic and top with crumbled goat cheese. Dandelions are also great piled on a grilled cheese sandwich or added to a risotto. You’ll find bright green bunches at Dirty Girl Produce.

Red Mustard Greens
Four Sisters Farm always has a great selection of baby greens and this time of year their bunches of Asian red mustard are especially delicious.  I like them best on sandwiches or raw in salads, but they are also good when lightly braised and tossed with roasted beets or a bit of sliced ginger and chopped shallots. Find them at the Four Sisters stand each Saturday and Tuesday through the end of March.