Recipes with Fresh Spring Flavors
Your mother probably told you to eat your greens, and these days, it’s easier than ever. Mustard, collard, beet and turnip greens are partnering with spinach, escarole, Swiss chard and kale to enhance many dishes with delicious flavors.
Full of fiber, vitamins and minerals, greens are even said to help prevent diabetes, not to mention they’re carbohydrate-free.
The North Carolina climate is friendly to both fragile and hearty varieties. With easy access to so many types of greens, and the long growing season (almost year round for the heartiest strains), you can add them to as many dishes as possible.
A few of the recipes below offer a glimpse into the potential for adding them to your diet. They are no longer stuck in the overcooked, salty stew of greens of yore, but looking hip in a hearty Turnip Greens and White Beans Saute or combined with the cheesy layers of Greek Chicken Lasagna.
What’s more, most greens can be used interchangeably in these recipes, so feel free to swap turnip greens for collards or kale. In fact, the spring greens mix used in two of these recipes often come in convenient packages featuring many different types greens. They consist of tender baby lettuces including romaine, oak leaf, red leaf, lolla rosa and tango, as well as varieties of other seasonal greens such as Swiss chard, mizuna, tatsoi, baby spinach, arugula, frisée and radicchio. Lettuces typically are pretty mild, while other greens have a bolder flavor that some consider bitter, though that’s lessened by the cooking process – not to mention the other, more savory ingredients.
Pork, one of North Carolina’s top commodities, lends its salty and savory flavor to our Spring Greens & Country Ham Tart. In addition to the healthy greens, the ham provides nutrients including protein, zinc, vitamins B12 and B5, thiamine and iron.
SEE MORE: North Carolina Pig Farmers Go Green
Fresh strawberries are readily available in the spring, perfect for our Strawberry-Coconut Tres Leche Cake. North Carolina ranks third in the nation for strawberry production, and May has been designated National Strawberry Month. What better way to celebrate than with a fluffy cake?
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SEE ALSO: 9 Recipes With Strawberries