With some sweet red onion, cooked chickpeas, and a reduced balsamic dressing, mustard greens quickly become a complete, light meal.
If necessity is the mother of invention, hunger is the mother of new recipes. Well, hunger, laziness, and a sadly depleted refrigerator. On a recent Sunday, I was out of everything I would normally eat for lunch–no lettuce, no spinach, no cabbage, nothing fresh and green and salad-worthy. I was also sadly lacking the desire to run to the store to get any of these items because that would take a lazy Sunday and turn it into a shopping Sunday, and who wants that? So I checked to see what green vegetables I did have in the house and found only mustard greens.
Mustard greens. Until recently I thought I didn’t like them. Just the name “mustard” convinced me, erroneously I now see, that these greens were more bitter than collards and turnips (which, truth be told, I only started liking within the past five years). But a few months ago, my mother persuaded me to give them a chance. She described them, her personal favorite green, as milder than collards. And she was right. More peppery than other greens–they get that from their mustard lineage–they lack the somewhat cabbagey taste of collards. I find they cook more quickly than collards, too, which made them perfect for a quick-fix lunch for two on a slow, summer Sunday. With some sweet red onion, cooked chickpeas, and a reduced balsamic dressing, they quickly became a complete, light meal.
- 10 ounces mustard greens
- 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 4-6 tablespoons vegetable broth, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Remove any large stems from the greens and discard. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
- In a deep pot or wok, sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper and another tablespoon of broth and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the mustard greens, 2 tablespoons of broth, and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt, if using. Remove greens and onions from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish, leaving any liquid in pan.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and agave or sugar to the liquid in the pan (if there is no liquid, add 2 tablespoons of broth). Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Spoon the chickpeas over the greens and drizzle the sauce over all.
- Serve warm, with additional balsamic vinegar at the table.
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