Indian-Style Spiced Greens with Paneer
This updated version of the Indian classic saag paneer includes a healthy dose of sautéed leafy greens. Serve it with steamed basmati rice, whole wheat naan bread and a dollop of sweet mango chutney or yogurt for a hearty and homey meatless meal. To save time, purchase bags of prewashed and chopped winter greens (usually a mixture of kale, chard, collards and mustard greens) at the supermarket. You will need about 12 oz. (375 g) of prechopped greens plus the baby spinach.
- 1 bunch mustard greens
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 5 oz. (155 g) baby spinach
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 Tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
- 1 serrano chile, chopped
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) paneer cheese, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Tear the mustard green and chard leaves from the tough center stalks, discarding the stalks.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the sugar (this helps retain the bright color of the greens). Add the mustard greens to the boiling water and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and drain the mustard green leaves, pressing on the greens to extract all the liquid. Cook and drain the chard in the same manner, cooking it for 2 minutes; cook and drain the spinach, cooking it as you did the mustard greens, for 1 minute. Transfer the wilted and drained greens to a cutting board or food processor and chop or pulse until finely chopped; set aside.
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cumin and sauté until the onion is translucent and beginning to brown, 8 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chile, and sauté until aromatic, about 45 seconds. Stir in the greens, cream and garam masala and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the flavors have melded, 10 minutes.
Gently fold the paneer into the greens and simmer until heated through, 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Vegetarian, by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen 2014)