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Portland OR 97219
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Filtering by Tag: greens

Green Mac & Cheese

Sarah West

I was inspired to make this after one of our volunteers brought something similar to a market potluck last year. I love the way the greens cut through the heaviness of homemade mac & cheese, making it seem (almost) healthy. During their brief spring appearance, I like to use nettles because their rich, nutty flavor pairs perfectly with cheese. Any greens will do: spinach, mustards, sorrel, kale, green onion tops, or even broccoli florets all make nice substitutes.  (Want to come to market potlucks? Inquire about volunteer opportunities at the info booth).

Nettles, while uniquely delicious and more nutritious than all other greens combined, come with one catch--they sting! Once boiled or steamed, nettles are perfectly safe to touch, but take care when handling raw leaves. Read more about handling and cooking with nettles here.


1/2 - 3/4 lb nettles, boiled and drained
1 lb penne pasta (or your favorite shape)
8 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons white flour
1/2 cup milk
2 cups half & half
1 pinch red pepper flakes to taste
1 pinch black pepper to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg to taste
1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional)
8 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
8 oz fontina cheese, grated
16 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
smoked paprika

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside. Blend nettles and half & half in a food processor and set aside.

2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil and add penne pasta. Boil 8-10 minutes. Pasta should be al dente. Remove from heat, run under cold water, drain and set aside.

3. Place a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of butter. When butter melts, whisk in flour, stirring as flour cooks a minute or two. Add milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Then the sauce is smooth, add half & half, nettles mixture and continue to stir. Add red pepper, black pepper, nutmeg and sherry, stirring continuously. Add the three cheeses, reserving 1/2 C of sharp cheddar for later. Mix well until all of the cheese has melted and the sauce is consistently smooth. Remove from heat.

4. Add pasta to the pot of cheese sauce; stir until well mixed. Pour into prepared baking dish. Evenly sprinkle top of baking dish with reserved 1/2 C of sharp cheddar cheese. Cover with panko and dot with remaining butter. Sprinkle with smoked paprika.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until bubbling and slightly brown on top. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe invites creativity: Reduce or increase the amount of greens to your own tastes. Substitute your favorite melty cheeses, or use just sharp cheddar. Skip the panko or use your own homemade bread crumbs. Change up the spices. Try stirring in lightly steamed, whole broccoli or cauliflower florets. Process raw leaves with the half & half instead of cooked for a brighter green (even nettles can be used raw, just be extra careful getting them into the blender).

Recipe adapted from the Hedgebrook Cookbook.

Greens Marmalade

Sarah West

This medley of chopped healthful greens and assertive seasonings is delicious on its own, or can be embellished with a slice or sprinkle of cheese. Based on a selection from the cookbook Mostly Mediterranean by Paula Wolfert, it is a perfect year-round recipe – choose greens that are fresh and in season.

1 pound fresh spinach, escarole, Swiss chard, dandelion, kale, etc. (a combination works best, if using just spinach, you may need another ½ pound)
1 garlic clove, peeled and lightly crushed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 flat anchovy fillets, drained and crushed with a fork (optional)
1½ tsp. capers, preferably salted, rinsed and drained
¼ cup chopped pitted purple olives
1½Tbsp. seedless black or yellow raisins, soaked in warm water, drained and chopped
&frac18 tsp. hot red pepper flakes, or more to taste
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
grilled or toasted ciabatta, baguette or other rustic, crusty bread


  1. Remove the tough stems and leaves from the greens, then wash them thoroughly. Cook the greens for several minutes, until tender, in boiling salted water. Refresh in cold water. Drain the greens and thoroughly squeeze dry. Chop roughly.
  2. In a skillet large enough to accommodate the chopped greens, heat the garlic in the olive oil over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, and the garlic is lightly browned, remove and discard the garlic. Add the anchovies, if using, and stir for several seconds until they begin to dissolve in the oil. Add the greens and fry for a minute, stirring. Add the capers and cook for another half a minute. Stir in the olives, raisins, and pepper flakes, and remove the mixture from the heat. Using a wooden spoon or heat-proof rubber spatula, scrape the mixture out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Allow to cool, and then chop fine by hand. Alternatively, chop in a food processor. Adjust seasoning if needed with salt and freshly ground black pepper. This preparation can be made several hours in advance or the night prior. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Allow to come to room temperature before proceeding.
  3. Top the toast with the greens and serve. If desired, sprinkle the greens with cheese or top with a slice of cheese (such as Asiago or Pecorino Romano) and run the toasts under the broiler to glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.

from Chef Kathryn Yeomans of The Farmer’s Feast

Sarson Ka Saag

Sarah West

1 lb mustard greens and other field greens, coarsely chopped
½ cup water
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 fresh green chili pepper (ex. Serrano), minced
¼ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon cumin seed, toasted 2 minutes in a hot dry skillet
~ salt
~ butter
~ fresh lemon or lime juice


  1. In a large saucepan, gently simmer the greens in water with the ginger and pepper.
  2. When the greens are tender, slowly add the cornmeal and mash the mixture with a wooden spoon. Cook until thickened, 7-10 minutes.
  3. Top with butter to taste, lemon or lime juice to taste, and cumin seed to taste.

recipe from Ayers Creek Farm