I've never been a big fan of typical southern greens. The ones I had were always bitter and the texture and color were about as appealing as warm spit. Over the past few years, I've become a much bigger fan of greens in general. My all time fave has to be Bright Lights swiss chard. It's a gorgeous plant - technicolor shades of red, yellow and orange. It's so pretty I grow it in my flower borders and it looks good the majority of the year. It's been a little cold here so it's not a perky as it normally is but it still adds color to my very brown and dead garden. With a rowcover and some plastic, it stays in great shape in my raised beds. If you pick the leaves small enough, it adds color and flavor to winter salads. The larger leaves are great to cook with. One of my favorite ways to serve them are lightly sauteed in olive oil with a little bit of garlic. If the stems are fairly large, cut them up separately and saute them first before adding the leaves. When that's done, sprinkle with some pecorino Romano cheese. I know this won't sound like a ringing endorsement but to me, this tastes like absolutely delicious dirt. It's got a rich earthiness that is very satisfying but still tastes green to me. Here's another recipe that's amazing for breakfast. Come spring, it's actually part of our morning strawberry picking ritual. Mark makes it while I go pick a few handfuls of strawberries that are then sliced and lightly sprinkled with Penzey's Vanilla Sugar. Absolute heaven.
Scrambled Eggs with Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese
Saute a couple handfuls of swiss chard leaves (chopped up if big) in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. If you like, add a little garlic, green garlic, garlic scapes or shallots as well. Saute for 5-10 minutes until greens are very wilted and greatly reduced. Take four eggs and add to pan, breaking up yolks with a fork. Then add 1-2 ounces (or more if you feel like splurging) of fresh goat cheese and scramble eggs until they resemble fluffy curds. Serve!
You can also add cream cheese or boursin cheese instead of the goat cheese. Fresh herbs are also lovely in this - tarragon is particularly nice. This is also yummy piled into an enlish muffin.