You go to the grocery store feeling ambitious, buy a huge box of salad greens and convince yourself that you’ll be able to eat them all. A week later, you’ve barely made a dent on your lettuce and it’s starting to wilt and go soggy. Sound familiar?
Instead of throwing it all out next time, try one of these tips to transform wilted greens into something you’ll want to eat!
1. Make it into pesto
Blended with cheese, nuts and some oil, you won’t be able to tell that your greens are past their prime. Pesto isn’t just limited to a combination of basil, parmesan and pine nuts! There are tons of recipes online that use everything from kale to swiss chard, walnuts to almonds. Virtually any kind of green you have on hand can be turned into pesto.
2. Add it to your favourite pasta dish
This trick couldn’t be easier. Place your greens in a bowl and pour hot, cooked pasta over top to wilt them further. If you have a tougher green on hand like kale or swiss chard, add them to the boiling pasta water for the last few minutes of cooking to blanch them. Top with tomato or pesto sauce, cheese, salt and pepper to mix up your usual pasta dish.
3. Toss it in a green smoothie
Blended with other fruit, your wilted spinach will disappear into a nutritious smoothie. Easily jump on the morning green smoothie bandwagon by combining banana, greens, berries and juice/milk/water in a blender. Sprinkle in some chia or hemp seeds for protein.
4. Sautè with garlic and oil
Anything sautéed in garlic and olive oil will taste good. And once in the pan, it will look like your greens were intentionally wilted. Infuse some olive oil with garlic by heating them together in a pan for a few minutes, then add the stems of your green (if there are any). These take the longest to cook so should be added before the leaves. Add the leaves and sauté together until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy your no-longer unappealing veggie.
5. Use it in vegetable stock
Simmered in a pot of water with other vegetables, there can’t be an easier way to save old vegetables. Toss vegetables of your choice – onion, carrot, celery, herbs, kale, garlic, the options are endless – into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for a couple of hours. Drain out the vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and you’ll have a healthier version of store-bought stock. This can be used in soups, risottos or to cook other grains.
6. Toss it in a green slaw
Thinly chop your greens and toss them with cabbage, carrots, and snow peas. An Asian-Style coleslaw like this is best when its had a chance to sit in the dressing for a few hours and the vegetables have softened, so slightly limp greens won’t be noticeable. For a tangy, fresh dressing, try adding red wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and lemon juice.