Sunday, November 15, 2009

Collard Greens with Spices and Ginkgo Nuts

These thrilling greens are adapted from a recipe The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi that calls for greens cooked with either plantain or parsnip. It seemed likely that plantains and parsnips are dissimilar enough that I just might dare try something else. What plantains and parsnips have in common, I thought, was richness, starchiness, mild sweetness, and protein. Ginkgo nuts have all of these, as well as a luxurious satiny texture that combines beautifully with all kinds of mixed vegetables. I harvested these ginkgo nuts by shaking a couple of trees immediately in front of my building. Local food cannot get much more local than this.

Collard Greens with Spices and Ginkgo Nuts

4 ounces ginkgo nuts (40 nuts)

1 bunch collard greens or other greens

6 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

3 tablespoons chickpea flour (gram flour, besan)

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon sweet paprika

1 rounded teaspoon kosher salt.

Roasted salted almonds (optional)

Lemon wedges (optional)

Remove the outer husks of the ginkgo nuts, and shell and cook them according to the instructions here.

Wash the greens well and remove the stems. Cut the leaves into a fine chiffonade. Bring salted water to the boil and cook the greens until they are quite tender, and strain. This will take 25-35 minutes for collards, less for other greens. You can drink the pot liquor or reserve it for another recipe.

Melt the butter in a wok or wide kettle. Add cumin, mustard seeds and chickpea flour and cook, stirring for about five minutes, or until the flour has darkened, and the seeds pop and sizzle. Add the nuts, turmeric, paprika, and salt and cook for another few minutes. Add the drained greens and toss and cook until everything is nicely hot. Serve with lemon wedges and chopped roasted almonds, if you so desire.

This recipe is my contribution for Haalo's Weekend Herb Blogging (founded by Kalyn) and hosted this week by Winnie at Healthy Green Kitchen

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Blogger Kalyn said...

I love collards, but never had ginkgo nuts, in fact I'm not even sure what they are. And you have them growing in front of your building? Very interesting.

(Glad you made it home okay too!)

12:55 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Thanks Kalyn,

Ginkgo just grows for free all over New York. Lots of people do not like them one bit because the pulp of the outer husk smell really dreadful at this time of year. Now that I use the nuts I just feel terrible about all those hundreds of pounds of delicious nuts falling unacknowledged to the ground, but I can't collect all of them!

(I was sure glad to get home too! The skyline was never so beautiful. In retrospect, I have a very funny story, but at the time I was getting a bit frayed)

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Winnie said...

Hi there,
I think you forgot to send me your entry, but I still included can see the roundup at my blog.
Your recipe looks great!

10:27 AM  
Blogger mangocheeks said...

Hi Chocolate Lady,
I too was curious about the gingko nuts, but your explanation to Kalyn has enlightened me.

Maybe one-day they will become the next 'food thing'...

11:06 AM  
Blogger tigerfish said...

Hmmm, the addition of ginkgo is....creative.

5:42 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

oh heavens, you are right! thanks so much for finding this. lovely roundup!

mangocheeks and tigerfish,

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Dave Summers said...

Some nice recipes using unusual items. As a chef and nutrition expert I like this article.

10:54 AM  

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