Seasonal Cooking 18 Jul 2011 08:29 pm
It’s happened again. “Oh dang,” you say, opening the fridge door and looking in at a sad, droopy bunch of chard or lettuce or basil. It looked so hale when you brought it home from the market, and now it’s gone all wilty.
But wilted greens is a problem there’s a solution for. And it’s a simple one. Just wash out your sink and fill it with ice water. Untie your bunch of greens and drop them in. Wait 30 or 40 minutes. Pull them out of their chilly bath and drain them on clean kitchen towels. Problem solved: your greens are proud once more.
“Oh why bother,” you say. “They’re the same leaves even if they’re wilted, aren’t they? Can’t I just chop them up and cook them like they are?” You can, of course, especially if you feel like you must punish yourself for not wrapping them up better in the first place. But in a more forgiving mood you’ll agree that perking up your greens in an ice water bath makes them easier to handle, makes them cook better, and gives them back their crispy texture and fresh flavor. It’s worth the time and the ice cubes.