This recipe is a great pick-me-up after along winter without greens. The flavor sweetness of the mustard greens, and the earthiness of the kale and turnip greens complement each other and the calcots and green garlic add their own sweet and earthy notes to the dish.

A note about the Calcots – these are a very rare vegetable in the USA, although they are very popular in Spain. Calcots are the second year of growth from a bulb onion. In Spain, they’re grown from sweet spanish onions. The mature onion bulbs are planted in the fall when you would plant garlic. In the winter, about 1 month after the bulbs were planted, they’ll start to sprout. In a few months what you’ll have are a bunch of large onion stalks growing out of the bulb you planted. If allowed to mature, these stalks would send up a flower and produce seed. I like to harvest the calcots when they are just begining to send up the flower stalk. The first crop of calcots I grew from Walla Walla Sweet onion bulbs I bought from my local produce stand. I planted them in low tunnels in November and I harvested my first bunches of calcots in April. I had planted large yellow storage onions in an outdoor plot in October. The bulbs in the tunnels did much better than the ones planted in the outdoor plot, although those came up as well. In my estimation, it’s better to plant the bulbs in a low tunnel, as this provides a warmer climate for the bulbs to sprout and grow. The stalks are protected from frost and seem to do better in warmer soils than what the northern Oregon Willamette valley provides.

If you don’t have access to calcots or are making this recipe during a time of year when calcots are not available, leeks, storage onions or large scallions make a great substitute.

Ingredients –

  • 1 large bunch each of kale, mustard greens, turnip greens.
  • 7 Calcots (you can substitute large scallions or leeks if you don’t have calcots)
  • 7 stalks large green garlic
  • 2 cups short or medium grain rice (I use Calrose)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Method –

  • Coarsly chop all of the greens including stems.
  • Clean and cut the tender white parts of the calcots and green garlic into 1″ pieces, then coarsely chop the green portions.
  • In a large pan, heat 3 T olive oil (if you’re not using the pan drippings from chicken or beef) to medium high.
  • Add the calcots and garlic to the pan, reduce heat to medium and cook covered untill just tender. Stirr several times while cooking, then remove to a bowl leaving as much of the liquid in the pan as possible.
  • Add a few more tablespoons of oil to the pan and heat on medium high until the oil is good and hot. Then add all of the greens, reduce the heat to medium and cook the greens often until they are soft. This should take around 5 minutes. Remove the greens to a bowl.
  • Return the pan to medium high and heat another 2-3 T olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the rice and stir well to coat.
  • Toast the rice, stirring often to prevent scorching, until the rice starts to turn golden.
  • Add 2 cups of the chicken stock to the rice and continue cooking, stirring frequently. Add stock 1-2 cups at a time as the pan dries out, until the stock is all used up and the rice is tender.
  • Remove from heat, add the greens and vegetables back to the pan and toss to incorporate. Season with salt if needed and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
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