Food from the Farm: Easy Greens Bake

As promised, this month we introduce our new recipe column, featuring favorite recipes from our farmers and farmers markets. We are excited about this new column, and look forward to sharing many great seasonal recipes with you over the months to come. For our first farm recipe, we chose an egg bake from DeBerry Farm. Charles and Cheryl DeBerry run a CSA in western Massachusetts, where they also grow ingredients for their salsa and hot pepper jelly.

Egg bakes are a standby in my family. Perfect for brunch, welcome for supper, they pack protein and veggies into one dish that makes great leftovers. The DeBerrys call their recipe a "Greens Bake", which is fair because it is packed with greens. When we have extra chard in the summer, we blanch it for 2 minutes in a pot of boiling water, let it cool on a cutting board, chop it up and put it in a freezer bag. Pull it out in the winter and steam it, and you're halfway to Greens Bake for supper.

The DeBerry's greens bake recipe is typical in its flexibility. Cheryl writes, "Our #1 best recipe for "greens newbies" as we call them (folks who don't know what to do with kale, collards, Swiss Chard, etc.) is this recipe.  It's easy, uses lots of farmers market ingredients, and tastes divine!  You can't fail with this recipe.  We've added more eggs, less eggs, more cheese, less cheese, different greens, and it always turns out delicious!  We hope you enjoy it!" We did. You will too.

As an added bonus, Cheryl tipped us off to an alternate baking method: muffin tins or mini-muffin tins. Tonight my book club is enjoying the mini-version on an appetizer buffet. Delicious, portable and easy to make ahead – perfect. Here is Cheryl's recipe.

Easy Greens Bake

Serves 4

  • 6 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch (about 1 gallon) fresh greens (kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, etc.)
  • 1 medium onion (or 3-4 scallions), minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic (or 1 stalk green garlic), minced
  • 3/4 cup milk of your choice (cow, goat, rice, etc.)
  • 2 cups finely shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, optional
  • 1 Tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Wash greens.  Strip leaves from stalks.  Chop stalks into 1/4 inch pieces and set aside. Chop greens into bite-sized pieces. 

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add chopped stalks.  Cook until almost tender (collard stalks take longer than spinach or Swiss chard - should take about 5-10 minutes).  Add chopped leaves and cook until tender (again, it varies with the greens, about 3-8 minutes.)  Drain, then press with a fork to remove as much water as you can.  (You can reserve the nutritious water and freeze for later use in soups).

3. In the meantime, in a heavy skillet over medium heat, saute onions and peppers in olive oil until onions are translucent.  Add garlic, saute about 2 minutes more.  (If you want to skip this step, just throw these ingredients in with the stalks and cook them all together, though sauteeing brings out the flavor of the peppers and onions better).

4. Grease a 9 x 12 casserole.  Pour in all the ingredients and mix well.  (You can also throw everything in the food processor for a more uniform texture.) The mixture will be thick, and you may need to press it into the corners and smooth the top with a spoon.  (Sometimes we mix this up in a bowl and spoon it into regular or mini-muffin cups to make beautiful individual appetizers.)

5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until set in center.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. 

Back to the February 2009 Newsletter