Vegetables? With no meat? You must be at the wrong blog… Truth be told, I do eat the occasional vegetable. A recent trip through the Buford Highway Farmers market landed me with a beautiful bunch of greens labeled simply as “quelites“.
Much like the Southern usage of “greens”, which could refer to collards, kale, mustard, spinach or who knows what, in Mexico the word quelites is used to reference pretty much any green, leafy vegetable. So essentially, I had no idea what I was dealing with. My best guess from the shape of the leaf is that this was some type of amaranthus. The uncooked leaf tasted a bit like kale.
After a couple of washes in a full sink of water (these held on to sand much like spinach and took a couple of water changes), stems were removed and the leaves were cut into 1″ strips. Prep took much longer than the actual cooking…
I really like sauteed greens, so that was the plan. Onions and a chili from the yard went into the pot with some oil and a quick Google search on “quelites recipes” turned up a recipe by Aaron Sanchez that mentioned the inclusion of tomatoes, so I went with that. After the onions and tomatoes began to soften, the greens went in with a bit of salt and cooked for about 5 minutes. A squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil finished them off.
Simple and delicious and I still have no idea exactly what I cooked (I’m sticking with amaranthus). The point is, don’t be afraid to explore. This huge bundle of quelites cost all of $1.29 – cheap enough to toss if I screwed them up and no guilt involved.