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April 3, 2012

Eat More Vegetables!

Filed under: Cooking, Event — Alison Aten @ 4:06 pm

Eat More VegetablesFarmers’ market and CSA season is upon us! Find out what to do with the readily available bounty of veggies from veteran CSA subscriber and food writer Tricia Cornell at The Eating, Reading and Living Well series at the Merriam Park Library on Wednesday, April 4, at 7:00 p.m. The program is presented by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and sponsored by Mississippi Market. Tricia will share her new cookbook, Eat More Vegetables: Making the Most of Your Seasonal Produce.

What can you do with all those mustard greens? How about making Midwestern Bibimbap? Tricia’s recipe, below.

Midwestern Bibimbap

My favorite use for pickled mustard greens is in my own simplified version of bibimbap. Classic Korean comfort food, bibimbap is “all mixed up.” It comes to the table as a lovely composition of pickled vegetables and rice, and then the diner gets to do the mixing up. If you’re lucky, a Korean restaurant will serve it in a hot stone bowl—dolsot bibimbap—that cooks the rice and egg to form a tasty crunchy crust on the bottom. Many versions include sautéed beef or chicken, but for a quick supper for one, I stick with just the egg.

1 cup cooked brown rice

¼ cup pickled mustard greens

¼ cup finely grated carrot

¼ cup bean sprouts

¼ cup steamed spinach, squeezed dry

1 egg

hoisin sauce, optional

Place rice in a deep, single-serving bowl. Arrange vegetables in wedge shapes on top. Fry egg sunny-side up. Slide it onto your pile of vegetables and stir with chopsticks or fork, breaking up the yolk. Add hoisin sauce to taste, if desired. Serves 1.

Pickled Mustard Greens

At my local markets, these beloved Hmong greens (zaub ntsuab) are labeled “mustard greens,” “mustard cabbage,” “bamboo cabbage,” and about a half a dozen other things. Look for long, thin, dark green leaves with relatively thick stems and tiny yellowish flower buds. They are among the first green things to show up in the market and are available well into the fall. They’re great in a stir-fry, and their slightly bitter flavor works well with all kinds of pork.

This is a fermented pickle that will keep in the refrigerator for several months (this recipe has not been tested for home canning).

4 cups water

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 dried red pepper

1 large bunch mustard greens, rinsed, dried, and cut into 1-inch pieces (to yield 4 cups)

Mix together first 4 ingredients (water through pepper), being sure to dissolve sugar and salt. Stir in mustard greens. Place mixture in a scrupulously clean opaque bowl and cover with a plate, weighted down if necessary. You don’t want an airtight seal, but you do want to be sure that all of the mustard greens stay submerged. (A pickling crock is, of course, ideal, but you can approximate one with a bowl and plate.) Keep in a cool, dark place for 3 days. Transfer to jars with tight-fitting lids and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Makes about 4 cups.

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