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This is a variation on the rice with spinach recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s An Invitation to Indian Cooking, and it came about when I had three different kinds of dark leafy green to use up — kale, chard, and collards. I incorporated ricotta cheese in the final step for a bit of heft. The recipe will take much less time with the help of a food processor; otherwise, be prepared for lots of chopping. This would be an excellent side dish to some sort of fleshy or faux-fleshy accompaniment, be it lamb chops or hard-boiled eggs or grilled tempeh or (oh yes!) Quorn.

You will need:
2 cups long-grain brown rice
Salt
1 1/2 lb. fresh greens (kale, collards, chard, spinach, beet greens, etc.), washed & stems removed
6 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
2 medium-sized onions
2 1/4 cups stock
1 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 cup crushed unsalted pistachios
1 cup ricotta cheese

Soak rice for at least 2 hours with a teaspoon of salt. When this time has passed, wilt the greens by steaming them or dropping them in a pot of boiling water for a little bit, letting them drip dry in a colander.

Peel and roughly chop your onions, and process them so that they are very fine. Heat the ghee or oil in a 3-4 quart oven-proof casserole. Add the onions and sauté until they are golden; while you are doing this, process the greens until they are a very fine pulp. Add the greens and garam masala to the onions, and sauté over a medium flame for about a half hour.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Drain the rice and add to the greens mixture with the stock. Stir and allow the mixture to come to a boil; lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Test for saltiness.

Stir the pistachios and ricotta in with the rice and greens, and cover the pot with foil. Poke a few holes in to let steam escape. Bake for 30 minutes, then check to see that the rice is cooked. If not, bake 5-10 minutes more.  Serve hot right from the oven, or cook in advance and reheat for 15 minutes.

As Ms. Jaffrey comments, “This is an excellent dish to impress guests with because it tastes very good and looks spectacular.” It does look very nice, and although purists may frown upon the unorthodox addition of ricotta, it tastes very nice too.

6-7 servings

I love these chips so much — they are fast, easy, and have a delicious nutty flavor that makes them slightly addictive.  They’re best eaten soon after baking, before the oil has had a chance to resaturate the leaves (the amount of oil can be reduced by using parchment or a silicone mat).  I find that they are too fragile for dipping, but adding seasoning to the oil can provide a nice flavor boost.  They also make a fine garnish. You may wish to try this recipe with spinach, red kale, or other light weight greens.

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1/2 Butternut squash
1/2 onion
Some cloves of garlic
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1/2 – 1 head Kale, curly or dino
1 can/2 cups coconut milk
Some cups of stock

Have the squash halved, peeled, and gutted.  Then cut into chunks.  (Don’t worry how they look.  They’ll go into a food processor later.)  Chop the onion and smash the garlic cloves.  Coat everything in olive oil and salt and pepper, put into a baking dish, cover with foil, and pop into a 350-degree oven.

Cut the center vein out of the kale and chop leaves into smallish bits, nothing bigger than a stick of gum.  Rinse them in a colander and put them into a pot with the coconut milk.  Then pour in stock until the leaves are covered.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer until the leaves are very tender.  If they do not melt in your mouth, or if you have to chew them, they are not tender enough.  Tender is the key!

When the squash is soft — about 40 minutes to an hour — remove from oven and let cool a bit.  Then put everything into the food processor and cream it up.  Pour the squash mixture into a bowl, and when the kale is tender, add that too.  It’s better here to incorporate the kale first before adding the broth; strain or spoon it out.  Stir in enough broth to make a consistency you like.  Then put it on your pasta.  Parmesan cheese and hot pepper top things off nicely.

This is one way to incorporate dark leafy greens into your diet if you are not so keen on them.  You could probably puree the kale as well.

About 6 cups, depending

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