Although Swiss chard was known by the ancient Greeks, it is not always recognized in historical literature because of the enormous variety of names, in various languages by which it is and has been called and because of its relation to the beet family. In English it is also known under these names: chard, white beet, strawberry spinach, seakale beet, leaf beet, Sicilian beet, spinach beet, Chilian beet, Roman kale, and silverbeet. Whatever you call it, how do you like to EAT it?
For a green, kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps create the bulk you need to feel full and sustain you between meals. Kale is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A and calcium. NOT to mention, it’s also one of your best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants believed to help thwart cancer, heart disease and certain age-related chronic diseases. Have you hopped on the kale bandwagon? What cinched it for you?
Spinach made its way into Italian kitchens in the 11th century and was Catherine de Medici’s favorite food. When she left Florence in the 16th century to marry King Henry II of France, she brought both spinach and cooks who knew her favorite ways to eat it. Ever since, dishes that are served on a bed of spinach are called “a la Florentine.” Do you have a fave Florentine dish?
Referred to as “rocket” in the UK, arugula has been cultivated in Mediterranean regions since Roman times. In fact, the robust, peppery green was even used as an aphrodisiac and thus banned from being grown in monasteries during the Middle Ages. What would YOU pair arugula with for a romantic dinner?
Collard greens are steeped in Southern tradition, and for many, they bring to mind fond memories of family. Tell us about your own experience with collard greens, whether a grandmother’s passed-down recipe or a brand new discovery!