Recipes and facts – Spring Greens

Spring greens belong to the brassica family. They provide you with a useful amount of vitamin C, to support your immune system, and vitamin K, to build bone strength.

They also contain natural compounds, such as sulforaphane and indoles.

They can be steamed, blanched or shredded and fried to create a dish not unlike to seaweed from a Chinese takeaway.

Recipes

Spring greens spanakopita

Spring green fried rice & eggs

Spring greens spanakopita – From the BBC Good Food website

  • 500g spring greens , finely shredded, stalks and all
  • 150g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large leeks , halved, cleaned and finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves , crushed
  • small pack parsley , chopped
  • small pack mint , chopped
  • ½small pack dill , chopped
  • ¼ nutmeg , finely grated
  • 250g ricotta
  • 100g pecorino , parmesan or vegetarian alternative, finely grated
  • 2 eggs , beaten
  • 1 lemon , zested
  • 270g pack filo pastry
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds (we used a mixture of black and white)

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, tip in the greens and cook for 1 min, then drain and leave in the colander to cool a little.

Melt 1 tbsp butter with the oil in a large pan. Add the leeks and a big pinch of salt, then stir over a medium heat until softened, about 8 mins. Add the garlic and cook for another min, then remove from the heat, tip into a large bowl and leave to cool.

Squeeze as much water out of the greens as you can; if you don’t mind getting a tea towel dirty, the best way to do this is to pile them onto the clean towel, gather the corners and squeeze. Add the greens to the pan with the leeks, then stir in the herbs, nutmeg, cheeses, eggs, zest and seasoning. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

You’ll need a 23cm springform cake tin to assemble the tart in. Melt the remaining butter in a pan or the microwave and use some of it to grease the tin. Now you’re ready to work with the filo. 

Have a clean tea towel to hand to keep the sheets covered as you work (it can dry out very quickly). Layer the sheets of filo in the tin, brushing each one really well with butter and leaving plenty of pastry hanging over the edge, to close the top with once filled. Scatter the sesame seeds between each layer of pastry as you go. Save a few sheets for the top.

Once the tin is lined, fill with the greens mixture. Scrunch a few more sheets of buttery pastry on top and fold in the overhanging sheets to close the tart. Scatter any remaining sesame seeds on top and drizzle over the remaining butter.

Bake for 40-45 mins until deep golden brown (cover with foil if it starts to brown too much). Remove from the tin as soon as you can to help keep the pastry crisp. Serve warm or cold.

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Spring green fried rice & eggs – From the BBC Good Food website

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs , 1 beaten
  • bunch of spring onions , chopped into 3cm lengths, tops finely sliced to serve
  • 1 green chilli , chopped
  • 2cm chunk of ginger , grated
  • 1 garlic clove , grated
  • 150g spring greens , shredded
  • 250g pouch of ready-cooked rice
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce , plus extra to taste
  • sesame seeds , toasted, to serve

Heat a splash of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When hot, crack the eggs in and turn the heat down. This should make the eggs nice and crispy – without burning – while the yolks cook. Use a fish slice to remove, set aside on kitchen paper and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the remaining oil to the pan, then scatter in the chopped spring onions, chilli, ginger and garlic and gently fry until softened, about 2-3 mins. Tip in the beaten egg and leave for 30 seconds until just set, then mash up with a spoon. Tip in the spring greens with a splash of water and cook until wilted. Add the rice and soy sauce and mix everything together, then season and tip into two bowls. Top with the eggs, sliced spring onion and sesame seeds to serve.

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