Spring Share - Greens and Forbidden Rice

[Posted by Ruth]

The 3rd installment of our Spring Share brought an interesting twist, Garlic Mustard.  I've pulled this flowering weed out of my own herb garden, but never thought to eat it.  The taste is mild and reminiscent of garlic, much milder than the Garlic Scapes we're looking forward to later in the season.  Garlic Mustard can be used raw in salads, or for pesto, but I decided to cook it with the the Beet Greens we got this week.  I sauteed them with bacon and some onion, added black eyed peas and served them over 'Forbidden Rice'.

Forbidden Rice is a small grain black rice, originally from China.  It got its name because it was a favorite of the Emperor and, therefore, forbidden to the general public.  The rice has a mild, nutty flavor, a firm texture and actually cooks up quite purple, also coloring the cooking liquid purple.

Sauteed Garlic Mustard and Beet Greens over 'Forbidden Rice' 

1 bunch Garlic Mustard, leaves and flower buds, coarsely chopped
1 bunch Beet Greens, coarsely chopped
4-6 oz Bacon, cubed
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups cooked black eyed peas
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup, raw, Forbidden Rice, cooked according to package directions or any other rice of your choosing.  The Forbidden Rice takes about 30-40 minutes, so start this first.  

As always, wash the heck out of the greens and spin them dry.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium, high heat and saute the bacon until it is beginning to crisp and the fat has rendered out.  Note, if there is more than a few tablespoons of fat in the pan at this point, remove the pan from the heat and soak up the excess fat with a paper towel.  You want enough to coat and cook the greens, but no so much that it becomes greasy.

Add the onions to the remaining drippings and bacon and cook over medium heat until the onions soften.  Stir in the Garlic Mustard and Beet Greens and cook, stirring, until wilted.  Fold in the black eyed peas, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste and cook until heated through and incorporated, 5-10 minutes over medium low heat.  

Serve over the rice.  You can pass yogurt or goat cheese to garnish, if desired.

This was another quick and healthy weeknight meal; on the table in under an hour.