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wasted greens

See that cutting board full of mustard greens, kale, radicchio, and Napa cabbage?  That was what I had purchased to use a liners and decoration for the platters of food at Terrie’s birthday party on Saturday night. Why is it on my cutting board today, 3 days after the party? You guessed it, I forgot to use them.  In the rush to dish out and serve the food, the greens in the refrigerator produce drawer were forgotten.  And as is typical, I remembered later that night as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep.  Peggy and Terrie discovered the drawer full the next morning while they were cleaning up, and brought them to me.  This recipe is what I came up with for using the kale, mustard greens and some of the radicchio. Tomorrow I’ll use the remaining radicchio and Napa cabbage for a crisp fresh salad or maybe a slaw for fish tacos.  P.S. I had planned on topping this dish with crumbled feta cheese, but when I opened the package… mold – eww.  So I shredded on some Jarlsberg instead – Yum!

Wilted Greens with Pasta and Beans

1 large bunch mustard greens
1 large bunch kale thick stems removed and cut into 1-inch strips
6 large radicchio leaves
12 ounces farfalla pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup peeled and diced onion
3 garlic clove, peeled and minced
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
15-ounce can pinto beans, drained, liquid reserved
1/4 cup black olive tapenade
Crumbled feta or shredded cheese of your choice

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add greens and cook just until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, transfer greens to colander to drain.

Return water to boil. Add pasta and cook just until tender but still firm to bite, about 11 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain over a bowl or measuring cup, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the pot, swirl to coat the bottom.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onion is soft and translucent. Add the drained tomatoes and beans to the pot and cook until just heated through, stirring often, about 3 minutes.

Return pasta to pot; add greens and the remaining tablespoon olive oil and toss. Stir in tapenade and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir in 1/4 cup of the reserved tomato liquid and 1/4 cup of the reserved bean liquid to moisten.

Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual plates and sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4

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1 David Bickford { 08.30.11 at 1:23 PM }

I often improvise with pasta, greens, and beans. That trio can create all sorts of hearty, nutritious, and inexpensive meals. This is another example of some of the best moments in cooking resulting from improvisational uses of leftover ingredients.

2 Marissa { 08.30.11 at 4:16 PM }

I am definitely making this soon.

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