Your New Favorite Leafy Green

Chinese Broccoli, Chinese Kale or Gai-Lan.  These are the names you seek.  Now go…go forth into a new realm and feel all the pleasures that lie within.  For your journey has begun and your world will never be greener.  Lol.2014-02-01 15.03.24

I found this beautifully hearty version at the RSD farmers market and was shocked to hear what it was. In the past, I’ve seen it picked younger when it’s thinner and lighter in color, with long tender stalks like this.  Always at 99 Ranch, and it’s good, but it’s different then this stuff.  The healthy older cut is all about the leaves, not the stalk. It looks, cooks and eats like a cross between chard, kale and collard…without the unsavory characteristics of any of them. There was no extreme earthiness like chard, no excessive bitterness like collards and it’s more tender then kale.  The problem is, you either have to grow it yourself, or have a rad farmers market near you.

Broccoli is the next vegetable I will plant…I mean…my wife will plant; and thanks to teh interwebz,  seeds are never hard to find.

This can be sauteed into any dish, or, you can get creative like this.

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Beef and Broccoli

8 leaves Chinese Broccoli
1lb ground beef
1 slice white bread
1/4c milk
1T dry sherry
1/2 T minced garlic
1T minced parsley
salt and pepper
½c olive oil
1 large onion sliced
2T minced garlic
½ dry sherry
1-2 bay leaves
2c beef broth

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Throw in some salt and blanch the leaves for a minute. Remove and plunge into ice water to chill, then remove and flatten on towels. Blot the tops as well and set aside.
Mix the bread and milk until mushy with the sherry, garlic and parsley, then mix in the beef. Roll the mixture into 4-5 tubes and coat in flour. Heat the olive oil up in a large saute pan until hot. Brown the meat tubes on three-4 sides and remove. Add the onions to the pan to saute for a minute, or a long time to caramelize. Cook in the garlic for a minute with the bay leaf. Stir in the sherry and reduce by half. Add the beef broth and reduce by half. Meanwhile lay out the leaves over-lapping one halfway over another. Place a meat tube on top and roll like a burrito, then place in an oven dish. Repeat with the remaining product. When the sauce looks reduced and tasty, pour it over the wraps and bake for 15 minutes at 350°. Remove and serve with sour cream and potatoes.