Kale and Mushroom “Risotto” with Braised Turnips & Kale Chips: Sustainable Cooking Recipe
By Local Roots NYC Contributing Chef, Angel Veza
It’s tempting to take a bunch of kale from your Local Roots NYC Farm Share, compost the stems and simply make a kale salad, but with this recipe, you can use all of the ingredients (and I mean all) – the kale stems, mushroom stems, and turnip peels – and probably have enough for at least a couple of meals, yielding zero food waste.
Why it works?
– When the kale stems are sliced finely into the size of grains, they’re a great substitute for rice and can be cooked just like risotto.
– To emulate the creaminess of risotto, pureéing the turnip peels (from the braised turnips) and mushroom stems with an apple is a great substitute. It’s thick and is packed with flavor – sweet, bitter, spicy, and umami. In this recipe, the pureé is used as a substitute for water or chicken stock that is traditionally used when making risotto.
– Using half of the kale leaves to create chips adds texture to the dish but is also a great snack! Similarly, the braised turnips work well with this dish or could be used as a side dish or eaten alone at another time. Because the recipe is versatile, it extends the life of your produce and expands your experience with them.
Kale and Mushroom “Risotto”:
1 bunch of kale, destemmed (Save stems. Reserve half the leaves for kale chips.)
7-8 cremini mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
salt, to taste
½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Turnip, Mushroom, Apple Pureé
turnip peels (saved from the braised turnips)*
1 apple, sliced with peel on
1 tsp. EVOO
1/4 of a lemon, juiced*
salt, to taste
2 turnips, peeled (save peels for “risotto.”)*
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter (increase or decrease, depending on taste.)
½ of a lemon, juiced*
3 garlic cloves
salt, to taste
1 Tbsp. EVOO
salt, to taste
Please note: *I recommend peeling the turnips as one of your initial steps, so that you can have the peels for the pureé ready.
*You only need 1 lemon for this dish. I recommend zesting the lemon first, reserving it for the kale chips and then quartering it.
1. Rinse kale. Separate stems from leaves. Finely slice stems to about the size of a grain of rice. Cut the leaves into 3-4 inch pieces. Reserve half of the chopped kale leaves for kale chips and let them dry.
2. Rinse mushrooms. Separate the mushroom caps from the stems. Reserve the stems. Finely slice the mushroom caps. Set aside.
3. Coarsely chop the turnip peels and mushroom stems into smaller pieces.
Slice the apple. Leave the peel on.
4. In a blender, put the ingredients in the following order: lemon juice from ¼ of a lemon, EVOO, apple, chopped turnip peels and mushroom stems.
5. Add water as necessary in order to get a loose oatmeal-like consistency.
6. Taste and add salt and/or lemon juice as desired. Set aside.
7. In a sauté pan, place butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic (and optional red pepper flakes). Sweat the garlic. Then add the sliced kale stems.
Cook the kale stems until it gets a little color and the butter browns. Then add the puree.
Stir until fully combined. Keep at a low simmer. Stir occasionally.
8. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms and half of the kale leaves, separately. Set aside.
Once the “risotto” has thickened (but not dried out) and the kale stems are tender, add the sautéed mushrooms and kale. Stir until combined. Taste and season as desired.
1. Slice the turnips into rounds, about 1 cm. thick.
2. Place the butter into a sauté pan over medium heat. Add lemon juice from half of a lemon and mashed garlic.
3. Once the butter has melted, add the turnip rounds. Then add water just to cover the turnips.
4. Braise the turnips over medium to high heat. Flip the turnip rounds occasionally for even cooking. Cook until tender.
1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
2. Make sure the kale is completely dry. In a bowl, toss the kale with the EVOO. There should be a light coating of EVOO on the leaves.
3. On a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, lay out the kale leaves. Sprinkle lemon zest and a pinch of salt on the kale.
4. Bake the kale for 8 minutes. Then rotate the sheet tray for even cooking and then bake for another 8 minutes.
The kale chips should be dry, rigid, and with little color.
Kale and Carrot top Spanikopita
1 package phyllo dough, either white flour or whole wheat
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups of any type of leafy greens (try spinach, kale, mustard greens, carrot tops, beet greens, chard, etc!) ex: 1 bunch kale (1/2 lb.), de-boned and chopped, 4 cups of tops of beets or carrots, roughly chopped, stems and all
1/2 bunch of parsley, roughly chopped, stems and all
1 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp tarragon, dried or fresh
2 eggs, whisked
salt and pepper to taste
zest of 1/2 lemon
4 ounces feta, crumbled
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1. If your phyllo dough is frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, remove from package and let lie flat as you cook the greens.
2. Heat olive oil on a cast iron pan or large wide rimmed skillet. When it shimmers, add sliced onion. Saute until soft, 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic, parsley, greens and stems, folding them in carefully to coat all the leaves in oil. Add salt to taste.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a small pan. Remove from heat.
4. Saute greens/tops over medium heat for 5 minutes, gently stirring as the greens wilt. Remove from heat and transfer to a colander over a bowl.
5. With a wooden spoon, press the leaves against the colander, squeezing water out of the leaves (depending on what greens you used, there might not be much water). Let drain until warm or room-temp.
6. When drained, transfer greens to a large mixing bowl. Fold in eggs, both cheeses, tarragon, mint, and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly.
7. Preheat oven to 350 F.
8. With a pastry brush (or with your fingers), coat the bottom of your baking pan with melted butter. Cover the bottom of the pan with one sheet of phyllo dough, coat that sheet with butter, and then place another sheet of dough. Repeat so that you have at least 5-10 layers of buttered sheets.
9. Add half of the filling, spreading it evenly to fill the area of the pan.
10. Place 5 more sheets of buttered phyllo dough on top of the filling, then add the rest of the filling over that.
11. Top filling with 5-10 more sheets of buttered phyllo dough, making sure to paint melted butter over each sheet of dough as you’ve done before. Melt more butter if needed, or simply use olive oil.
12. Spread a splash of olive oil on top of the last sheet. Sprinkle some sea salt or za’atar o top. With a chef’s knife, score through the top layer all the way to the bottom so that the spanikopita cooks evenly throughout.
13. Bake for 40-45 minutes, removing from the oven when the top layers are golden and crispy.
14. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve!
Pea, Zucchini and Kale Soup with Lemon and Coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 celery stalk, diced
1 medium leek, white and tender green parts diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 medium zucchinis, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup shelled peas – for your “mature” snap peas
1 cup kale, cut into small pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup whole-milk
1.In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil. Add the celery, leek and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
2.Add the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the ground coriander.
3.Add the vegetable broth, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
4.Add the peas and kale and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with salt and lemon juice. Puree the soup in a blender.
5.Serve with yogurt, torn mint leaves and black pepper