Vegetables: Class Four

For 98% of my life, I have hated greens. Bitter, overcooked, wilted – greens had no appeal. Occasionally greens with large amounts of animal fat would be acceptable. It was only recently that I began to appreciate greens more. I discovered alternative sauces and dressings. I learned of the potent nutritive power of greens. Cooking greens well is critical, so I was looking forward to our class.

Below: Preparation of greens is critical, especially thorough washing. Notice the aphids on the leaf below.

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Below: Chef Shahnaz instructs us on proper preparation and enjoyment of leafy greens.

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Below: Preparing a pressed salad. This stage of the process involved tossing thinly-sliced carrots, parsnips and celery in sea salt. Then you place a weight over the vegetables to squeeze out some of the liquids.

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Below: My team’s blanched greens between our braised cabbage (top) and our improvised sauce (bottom). The sauce was a blend of sesame oil, cilantro, and a number of other ingredients.

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Below: More blanched greens.

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Below: Two versions of cumin cabbage. The one on the left was cooked a bit more than the one on the right and was more tender. I think I preferred the slight crunch of the one on the right. Plus it had more of a cumin flavor, which is surprising because the spice isn’t as visible.

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