We all go through cycles of frequent dishes. This is currently on hot rotation, and dare I say it, my favorite lunch or breakfast. I have to bake my weekly loaf of sourdough so that I can toss this dish together as often as I like. This simple meal is the fastest way to combine great flavors and textures, the crunch of the toast, the silky texture of the miso glaze, the bite of the garlic and the freshness of the greens. Kale works so well with this dish because it stands up to strong flavors, but I love combining with cabbage, collared greens or spinach as well.
I don't think there are two things in the world I like as much as garlic and butter together, but combining them with copious amounts of greens and a good spoonful of miso means that the end well justifies the means. On days when I want to feel really "clean," so to speak, I substitute the butter with a little bit of olive oil, or water sautee the garlic to remove fats altogether.
Miso is fermented soy paste, and being fermented, is great for your digestion and gut. There is a wonderful store near Piccadilly called the Japan Center that I visit very few months and stock up on different types of miso, vinegars, noodles, condiments and all things Japanese. I used a white miso which is less salty, as it's not fermented as long. Yellow miso and red miso go up the scale is saltiness and flavor intensity and require less to get the deep umani flavor I'm looking for.
I flip back and forth between chopping my greens into big pieces or a fine ribbons. I like both. When I'm combining greens like Cavolo Nero kale and green cabbage, I like cutting them very fine so that they merge well and cook more evenly. When I'm just using kale, I'll give it a rough chop and then throw in whole flat parsley leaves at the very end.
I like slicing the garlic into thin pieces, a la Good Fellas stye, so the garlic infuses every bite. Make sure you cook the garlic for at least five minutes, stirring constantly over medium heat so it doesn't burn. You really don't need to add any salt to this, because the miso is already very salty, but ground back pepper at the end is great. You can finish it off with a squeeze of lemon or a dash of vinegar if you want to brighten it up, but I love letting the flavor of the miso really run the show.
This goes really really well with a crispy fried egg on top, or you can omit the sourdough toast and add a big handful of cooked brown rice. Adding vinegar and a little bit of soy sauce would make enough of a sauce to coat soba noodles or rice noodles. As a side for grilled chicken or fish would make a super fast but elegant supper.
Someone once asked me what percentage of meals include kale and my answer was honestly 95% or more. This is nothing to feel guilty about, especially when the results taste as good as this.
Miso Sautéed Greens
- 1 bunch favorite greens, my go-to is Cavolo Nero kale, green cabbage or mature spinach
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 3 large cloves of garlic, sliced finely
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 glug of olive oil or knob of butter
- Ground black pepper
Wash and spin dry your greens. Remove the stems, and chop to the size of your liking. If using different kinds of greens it's a good idea to slice them a bit smaller and as evenly as possible. Slice your garlic, and mix the miso in the tablespoon of water so that it dissolves and there are no lumps.
Heat the butter or oil in the pan over low heat and add the garlic. Stir constantly so that it doesn't burn but cook until it's gone translucent and has browned slightly.
Add your greens and toss them in the garlic so that they are coated. Increase the heat slightly and add the miso liquid. Toss and cover with a lid for 1-2 minutes or until the greens are wilted and deep green. Remove from heat and toss the parsley in. Squeeze lemon or vinegar over the top, and spoon on sourdough toasts or serve with fried eggs, or brown rice.