Jars of Savory Greens with Olive Oil

The New York Times recently highlighted a recipe for a Mediterranean “jam,” the origins of which were attributed to cookbook author Paula Wolfert and her recipe for Moroccan long-cooked greens.  The Times’ recipe is a variation of a dish served at Camino Restaurant in Oakland, CA.  Chef Russell Moore of Camino is a passionate believer in a zero-waste kitchen and uses outside leaves of lettuce and other wilted greens or carrot tops in his Moroccan Herb Jam.

The Queen Anne Diet’s GREEN JAM (a very tasty, quick way to eat all of those other greens).

Here it is: CollardBroccoli RabeMustard GreensBeet TopsItalian DandelionKale, and Swiss Chard— and less chewing. Pick something new you’ve never tried from our “Greens” post.  If you are shopping at Trader Joe’s, grab several of their bags of mixed greens, a jar of Kalamata olives, a red onion and a lemon, and off you go!

This is a fantastic recipe to make with a friend after your Sunday trip to the gym. Hit the store before it’s busy, skip brunch, and catch up with your best buddy. With four hands, these savory cumin-dusted greens will be all packed up and divided in less time than it would take to get food at your favorite weekend spot.

In order to maximize the number of  yummy little power meals and streamline labor, we double the greens and eliminate steaming.  Sautéing the greens and onions in olive oil gives a wonderful texture. And the blistered whole Kalamatas pop out like tiny jackpots in each jar.

Wash greens and remove stems if you choose ( I remove stems from kale, collard and chop off the coarse ends of the broccoli rabe). I leave all the chard, dandelion and mustard stems. Your choice. Coarsely chop the greens.

Heat skillets with a bit of olive oil to keep the greens from sticking. Add the chopped greens and cloves of garlic (unpeeled) and begin the saute, stirring frequently,  You will need to add additional olive oil as the greens cook down.

Cut  a red onion in half lengthwise, peel and then slice into long sections and sauté in the now unused back half of the pan.  Add a bit more olive oil and continue to cook onions.  Stir greens to keep from burning.

Remove cloves of garlic, pop out of skins, chop and turn back into greens.

Drain the Kalamata olives of their brine in a colander and shake to remove as much liquid as possible. I place my olives in a dry cast iron pan and begin heating until the remaining liquid is removed. Before the pan begins to burn, add enough olive oil to cover the  bottom of pan and sauté the olives until they begin to blister (about 10 minutes). This reverse method of putting olives in before the oil lessens the sputtering that occurs when drops of brine come into contact with the hot oil. Add the olives to the cooked greens.

 Toast 3 Tablespoons of cumin seed in a small cast iron pan on medium heat until they begin to brown and become fragrant, stirring continuously. Once the pan warms it takes only about a minute.  Be prepared to remove the seeds immediately from pan once toasted.  Have a hot pad at the ready.  I use a sheet of scratch paper to form into a funnel. Pour the cumin seeds onto the sheet of paper and then into your grinder.
GreenJam_8 Add the ground cumin seed into the greens mixture.GreenJam_10

Mix the greens with several tosses to evenly incorporate all the ingredients. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.  A teaspoon of non-balsamic vinegar would also add a touch more contrast. I like the Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar ($3.29) with mine.

Optional spicy roasted lemon topping:
 Turn oven to 350 degrees.  Thinly slice and  blanch two lemons in simmering water for  1-2 minutes. Blot dry with paper towel and place on sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Brush with olive oil and roast until they just begin to brown about 15 min.
GreenJam_5Chop and toss with 1/2-1 tsp. Aleppo chili. Place on top of greens jars and mix in while eating.
Divide your Savory Greens into glass jars (I use stacking jars from Crate and Barrel–$1.89 each) or plastic containers (I save and hand wash pint containers from the PCC deli) and you’re ready for the week!

This is a perfect weekday lunch–on the go, at the office, or while working at home.  Serve at room temperature (just leave on your desk when you come in to work).  Bring in a little roasted chicken or some squash and a half an apple for snack and you will feel well cared for throughout the day.