simple summer greens saute

July 27, 2011

We had the pleasure of a flying visit from family in Texas this past weekend and found ourselves on a mission for the farmers’ market. By lovely accident, we stumbled across Frogtown Farmers’ Market in St. Paul.

This small market has maybe 30 vendors, mostly Hmong, and is outstanding for its’ breathtaking amount of greens. We were almost overwhelmed by the sheer volume and choice but ended up grabbing a ton of Chinese spinach, green beans, and scallions (Spring onions) for $4. Amazing value.

This saute makes a gorgeously fresh summer breakfast for one if served with a poached or fried egg and some red pepper flakes on top. Alternatively you could use it as a side dish to fish or whatever you might be grilling. The green beans retain a lovely sweet crunch and their bright green colour while the spinach wilts lovingly around the garlic, onions, and oil.

Summer simplicity on a plate.

Simple Summer Greens Saute


  • large handful green beans, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tbsp onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large handful Chinese spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon green onions, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the green beans and blanch for 5 minutes, until fork-tender. Strain in a colander.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and immediately add the just-cooked green beans. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, then add the spinach and let it cook undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes, just until wilted, then toss it with the green beans to combine.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately and sprinkle with fresh green onions. Serves one for breakfast with an egg on top.

Note: It’s an approximate recipe, as you’ll see below, so feel free to use a little more, a little less. It goes without saying that you could use any summer greens here – I’d recommend a trip to your local market to see what you find.

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