I’ve never been particularly good at “cookin’ a big ole mess of greens.” I didn’t grow up in the South, nor with collards or turnips that had been lovingly cooked by a grandma. So I’m thrilled with all the baby greens coming off of our local farms. The Produce Place in Sylvan Park had some beautiful arugula and Han Tsai Tai from Bloomsbury Farm that was irresistible. (Eric also insisted I take a package of the fresh pork sausage from Downing Cattle, saying that it had probably been alive just a couple days ago — TMI for sure.) That next day at the Nashville Farmers’ Market were bushels of tender baby turnip greens that cost less than $1.50/pound. Now these I know how to cook! No extensive washing, cutting out the tough ribs or braising for days with a ham hock. Just a last minute “wilt” was all they needed to maintain their texture and tender bite.
The first night I sautéed up the sausage with some garlic, tossed it with the fresh greens and hot cooked pasta and showered it with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Boom. Dinner. The next night I used some leftover sweet potatoes for a frittata. Topped with the baby greens and cheese, this open face omelette is just the ticket for dinner. Enjoy!
Beans, Greens & Pasta
- ½ pound ground pork sausage (we used Downing Cattle Company)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 cups hot cooked penne pasta
- 1-2 cups garbanzo beans or white beans, rinsed
- 3 cups fresh baby greens (arugula, baby turnip greens, Han Tsai Tai, spinach)
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
- Sauté sausage with garlic until browned and done, about 7 minutes. Toss with hot cooked pasta, beans and baby greens. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Farm Fresh Frittata
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 farm fresh eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup chopped leeks or spring onions
- ½ cup peeled, diced sweet potatoes
- 1-2 cups fresh arugula or spinach leaves
- 1 cup (4-ounces) grated or crumbled cheese (cheddar, Gruyere or goat cheese)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-12" nonstick, oven-safe skillet over medium-high.
- Whisk eggs with remaining oil, salt and pepper, set aside.
- Sauté greens, chopped leek or spring onions and arugula, spinach or greens until tender. Add egg mixture and cook 5-6 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in oven 8-10 minutes or until set (or turn heat down, cover with lid and bake 8 minutes). Remove from heat, slice and serve. May be cooled and refrigerated for up to a day and served cold, room temp or warm.
Jill Melton is editor and publisher of Edible Nashville. She’s a professional cook and dietitian as well as an experienced writer and editor. You can find more of her recipes at “Jill Cooks Here” as well as simple fresh recipes using local in-season ingredients at ediblenashville.com. All photography by Jill Melton.