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A very useful recipe, especially as you can use whatever greens you happen to have e.g. baby cabbage leaves, Swiss chard, salad leaves like cos or gem or a bag of spinach, watercress and rocket. The rules of play are to blanch the more robust leaves first and then wilt them down in a pan with salad leaves, herbs and garlic until soft. We used a big bag of spinach and some herbs and it was a really good accompaniment for the leg of lamb below.

Ricetta tipica per verdure verdi (Italian style greens) – to serve 4 as a side dish

  • 6 big handfuls of mixed greens, leaves and herbs (see above)
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
Blanch the cabbage leaves and chard in salted boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain and leave to cool for a bit. Heat a few glugs of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the sliced garlic. As soon as it starts to colour; add the salad leaves then the cabbage and chard. Cook on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, moving around the pan with tongs, then add herbs and cook for another minute. Take off the heat and season carefully with salt and pepper, some olive oil and enough lemon juice to give it a kick.
(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver, Penguin Group, 2005).

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