Wilted Greens with Pine Nuts, Garlic & Golden Raisins
You won't have a problem eating your greens with this surprising and well-balanced preparation. While the combo may sound a little strange, the end result is easy to love. It starts by sizzling pine nuts, garlic, chili flakes, and golden raisins in extra virgin olive oil, followed by a sizzle of sherry vinegar, and a boatload of greens, wilted down in batches. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, and you'll be happily devouring this verdant tango of flavor in 20 minutes flat.
A Classic Spanish (or Italian) Combo
I first tasted this recipe at a Tapas bar in Seattle, back when Tapas was the "new" thing here in the states. It must have been the early 00's. I wouldn't have anticipated liking this dish so much based solely on the description, but of all the dishes we ordered that evening this little plate of well-oiled, sweet, sour, earthy, and nutty greens was the stand-out.
Some days I can barely remember my own name, but by gum, I can remember certain meals like they were mere hours ago, even when decades have passed.
This is a traditional Catalonian dish, although a nearly identical recipe is credited to Sicily, Italy. The Spanish version uses spinach. The Italian version often features heartier greens like collards or dino kale. The takeaway for you: Feel free to use whatever greens you like.
Also, feel free to serve this however you like. It could be served as a lovely first course, part of a tapas selection, a vegan main, or a sultry side for any kind of chops, steak, fish, or poultry.
I'm not sure if my addition of sherry vinegar is exactly traditional, but it feels right and contributes to the wonderful balance of sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and nutty. Just be careful when adding it to the skillet as it tends to spatter when it hits the hot oil. To avoid this, you could sprinkle it on at the end, but I like to reduce and concentrate the liquid before adding and wilting the greens. Chef's choice!
It's no surprise that this one is nutrient-dense as all get out. Let's take a closer look...
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables or "DGLVs" are one of the most highly-recommended foods to eat more of by nutritionists from all schools. In addition to being high in fiber, low in calories, and extremely nutrient-dense, they feature several key thyroid-supporting nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, and B vitamins, as well as magnesium, potassium, and iron. While some greens, especially those in the brassica family like kale and collards, have been purported to slow thyroid function when eaten raw and in large amounts, any goitrogenic (thyroid-inhibiting) properties are greatly reduced by cooking the greens.
- Garlic has many powerful healing properties, which can aid or alleviate some of the symptoms of thyroid conditions such as inflammation, cardiovascular issues, decreased immunity, and increased infection. It can also support the liver in its detoxification efforts.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered one of the world’s healthiest fats. Some of its many scientifically-proven health benefits include anti-inflammatory properties, high antioxidants, and reduced risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.