One of the things I like about belonging to a CSA is being forced to try new foods. For example, the mysterious bunch of greens that arrived in our last produce box. After consulting the newsletter that comes with each box, I learned that they were mustard greens. I think calling these striking plants mustard greens is actually a little misleading since the top of each leaf is a strikingly beautiful shade of purple.
I was at a loss as to what to do with them until my friend, Naushon, who is a huge fan of mustard greens, suggested this simple recipe to me -- it's one she and her mom recently made up. According to Naushon, mustard greens have a spicy flavor that mellows when cooked in soups, stews or stir-fries.
I was intrigued by the combination of dense, sweet kabocha squash (which I discovered last year and LOVE!), spicy mustard greens, rich coconut milk, and curry powder. Served over rice, I knew this would make a hearty and exotic meal.
A few quick notes:
You can cook kabocha squash with the skin on - just give it a good washing first. It's quite a hard squash so don't be surprised if you end up needing a cleaver to hack it to pieces. If you can't find kabocha, you could also substitute delicata or butternut squash or even yams or sweet potatoes in its place.
I was feeling lazy so I opted to use boneless skinless chicken breast in place of bigger pieces with bones and skin even though the dish would be a little more flavorful with those elements -- it's totally up to you. The only change this would entail is that you'd begin by browning the chicken pieces in oil and remove them from the pot, then jump in where the recipe below begins.
In terms of curry powder, feel free to use whatever you like best. I used primarily garam masala as that is what I had on hand. Or if you're feeling more ambitious, you could toast your own mix of curry spices in a small cast iron skillet and them grind them up yourself (the flavor would definitely be richer that way.)
Curried Chicken with Kabocha Squash & Mustard Greens
* 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (I strongly suggest using organic, free range meat), cut into pieces
* 1 large bunch mustard greens, washed, dried and cut into 1-inch strips length-wise
* 1 large onion, sliced or minced
* 1 small kabocha squash, washed with seeds and stem removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 1 can coconut milk
* 1 tsp minced ginger
* 3 tsps chopped fresh cilantro
* 1-2 Tbsps olive, safflower or coconut oil for sauteeing
* Chili flakes (this is optional and you can use as much or as little as you like, depending on how spicy you like your food)
* 2-3 tsps curry powder (madras curry powder, garam masala, etc.)
* Sea salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups chicken stock (can add more if you prefer more liquid or if it's not enough to cover)
1. Sautee the onion in the oil in a dutch oven until translucent, add the minced ginger and chili flakes and sautee a minute or two longer.
2. Add the stock and the kabocha, bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.
3. Add the chicken and cook another 5 minutes. Add the ribbons of mustard green, the coconut milk, and the curry powder.
4. Cook until the mustard greens are tender and the chicken is white throughout then add the cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning as needed (you may wish to add more curry powder, etc.)
5. Serve over rice (either basmati or short grain brown rice would both be good choices.)Like this recipe? Click here to browse through more Eatwell Recipes.