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Image courtesy of Once Upon a Chef[/caption]What’s red hot in greens this season? Tap your fork into any of these lesser-known varieties appearing now.Baby Kale What is it?
More tender and sweet than kale, this is a kitchen dream: buy it pre-washed and there’s nothing to clean or chop. Curly or smooth, it has a light peppery bite (think arugula) and a velvety, mild texture.How to cook it:
A vibrant dressing and the nutty texture of roasted chickpeas perk up this baby kale salad
for a mid-week meal. Baby kale also plays well with Asian flavors in this one-pot meal with marinated chicken and mushrooms
.SpigarelloWhat is it?
This Southern Italian leafy heirloom is a predecessor of broccoli rabe. Its flavor is sweet and grassy, but like all members of the broccoli crew, it has a bitter kick. Discard tough stem bottoms before cooking.How to cook it:
Taste spigarello in this simple preparation with EVOO, chili, and garlic
. Or, make it a meal paired with poached eggs
.Broccoli di CiccoWhat is it?
Chefs love this green for its asparagus-y broccoli flavor and its elegant long stems. Use it as you would broccoli: roast it to coax out sweetness, stir-fry, or saute. Cook it thoroughly, though, as it’s tougher than broccoli rabe or rapini.How to cook it:
Simply saute it or try your hand at this show-stopping olive-oil poached beef fillet with broccoli di cicco vinaigrette
. Use broccoli di cicco anywhere you would broccoli leaves, including this tortellini soup
.Turn over a new leaf in your spring cooking. A field of possibilities awaits!