I was very skeptical when son Hugh, the chef, told me how he was going to cook the silver beet and kale we picked from his garden, back in Adelaide, back in December. Well the proof of the pudding is in the cooking and I sat at his table, wondering if I would be able to tell the difference.... sometimes chefs see and taste things with senses the rest of us have not honed! At the first mouthful, I was converted. Never had my cooked leaves been so full of juice and such a vibrant green as these, although I would not have realised it until now.
So, tonight when I was about to cook a big pan full of kale, to form the base to sit my osso buco on, I remembered Hugh's instructions: Bring to a good boil lots of water. The reason for this is so that the water stays boiling even when you add the leaves. Add the leaves (I chop them a little first) and keep up the boiling; do not let it go off the boil even for a moment.... and you need to have the lid off.... I forget why! I don't remember if Hugh added salt but I didn't.
Immediately the kale was all in the pot, I put my osso buco in the microwave to heat for 2.5 minutes. When the timer went off, I tested the kale and it was done perfectly so I poured it into a colander and ground plenty of pepper over it then put it on my plate. I placed the osso buco on top and can say that, like when Hugh cooked it, the leaves were vivid green and so full of juice I nearly choked on it!
Thanks Hugh .......... Buono appetito!
ps Everyone knows I love leaves but did you know I could eat a whole dinner plate full of them? Topped with a small serve of osso buco, it was delicious.... but I forgot to photograph it!!