Summertime Food

Being urged by my doctor to eat more greens and other vegetables, I was curious to read The book of Greens - A Cook's Compendium by Jenn Louis.  I do cook still for DH and myself, and I like to cook simple, easy and quick to assemble, staple recipes.  Something in the order of meat loaf, mash potatoes, stew, baked chicken, etc.  And for vegetables, I'm afraid for so long I just boiled or steamed them.  So I thought this title would lend itself to my kitchen in putting more greens and veggies variety in our meals.

And it does.  Ms Louis provided me with new ways to cook Bok Choy, Cabbage, Chard, Collard Greens, Kale, and Spinach.  I even found recipes for two common weeds here in our neck of the woods:  Purslane and Mallow.  The purslane gets added to a lentil and rice dish - tasty good.  The mallow is treated like okra for "when cooked down,.... is perfect to thicken stew--rabbit, chicken, beef, or fish."(p.176). I had been served this by a Syrian acquaintance and liked it, so I was glad to find a way for me to introduce it to my kitchen.

However, the rest of the greens in this book, while many, are not commonly found in my university town of 400k.  They are probably more common in large metropolitan areas of a million plus residents that have more ethnic markets than ours.  It was interesting reading about these greens (Agretti, Celtuce, Gai Lan, Malabar Spinach, Minutina and others. Louis gives one a paragraph or two about the history of the green and where it is from and how used.  An example:  Agretti was a staple Roman peasant food that became popular in the 19th century.  It is native to Italy.  The description is followed by a recipe or two - not all side dishes; some desserts and drinks. She has provided and excellent seasonal chart of when you'll find these in markets.  There's also great info on how to buy, in what quantities and how to store these greens.  The book is an attractive hardcover edition with signatures sewn into the spine for long lasting use.

I won't be keeping this on my cookbook cabinet in my kitchen.  I think I will give it to one of my vegan friends after I finish making a copy of those recipes I want to try again.  One in particular would be thrilled to get this book.  She is a more adventurous cook than I.

received this book (published by Ten Speed Press, a part of  by Crown Publishing Group from Blogging for Books for this review. 


  1. EWw..greens. I know they are good for us but they all taste like grass smells when cooked. I've learned to sneak them into other foods so I can't taste them. Soups is one great way to add them our diet, chopping them very fine. They could even be added to the yummy meatloaf without you even knowing they are in there. I recently read that some people dehydrate them and then put them into a food processor or blender making a fine powder that can be added to just about any recipe without adding flavor but you get the nutrients.

  2. I do enjoy greens and most veg but these days have got very lazy about cooking and often make do with eggs

  3. I do eat canned greens, but that is as far as I go except whatever I get in a mixed salad. I did feel my throat wanting to gag when thinking of eating some veggies. LOL.

  4. It's sounds like an interesting book, but I would probably do what you did, pick out a few recipes to keep and try.


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