Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Guest Post Spotlight: Spring Greens Stir Fry

For those of you who read this space and are fans of my work, I suggest you connect with me on facebook.  I am infinitely more active there, always posting new dishes and spotlighting some of my favorite cooks.

Lazaro Cooks Facebook

Today I am honored to turn the floor over to one of my favorite cooks, Alisha from The Ardent Epicure.  It is a fantastic blog.  I've been reading this blog for years.

Alisha does magic with veggies.  I've dubbed her "The Veggie Queen." Her recipes are eclectic and expertly put together while the photography is always top notch.

Please do drop by The Ardent Epicure.  You will find a wonderful food blog to follow and make a very sweet new friend.

 Thanks to my good friend for sharing her marvelous talent here with us.


Hello to all of the Lazaro Cooks readers, my name is Alisha (aka Magic of Spice).  I am the co-author of The Ardent Epicure which I write with my son Adam (aka Truffle Shuffle).

I am very pleased and honored to be invited back to share with you all here by my amazing friend Lazaro. Lazaro’s skill and creativity in the world of food is not only unquestionable, but undeniable. So my friend Laz, again I thank you for not only the invitation, but always your friendship…

Spring Greens Stir-Fry

Today I would like to share with you a simple stir-fry that has a few twists and turns. Basically it has pretty much everything I got my hands on during a trip to the local farmers’ market, then a few goodies that needed to be put to use.

The farmers’ market trips that I make…well quite frequently, sometimes inspire an entire meal. But then like most of you probably, I already have several ingredients hanging around in the fridge wondering just when they will get their turn to shine.

Aside from the eclectic mix of veggies here, I went with more of a Mediterranean style of seasonings. So in essence, this will work with just about anything you have available.

Heirloom Organic Carrots and Purple Asparagus

Above we have our Chrysanthemum Greens…have you ever tried these beauties? They also go by the names shingiku or tong hao. They have just a hint of anise and mustard and work beautifully in any method you would prepare other greens.

The image below is our Kohlrabi-Italian turnip and Baby Bok Choy. Both of these greens have edible leaves as well as bodies. The Kohlrab has a similar texture and flavor profile of broccoli stems.

In this image above the beautiful leafy creatures are known as Tatsoi or Spoon Mustard. The name Spoon Mustard was given as these lovelies have a mild mustard flavor.  The stalks are crunchy and do wonderfully as a raw snack with more mature Tatsoi, and both the leaves as well as stalks are wonderful raw or just slightly wilted in a stir-fry or sauté.

Then there are our Collard Greens, similar to kale in nutritional benefits but with a milder flavor.

And finally these Mizuna Greens, they have pointy green leaves and have a similar flavor to that of arugula, although slightly less peppery.  I find them to be not only a tasty, but attractive addition to salads as well.

What you will need:

For the wild mushroom broth

4-5 ounces dried mushrooms

1/4th cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water

For the stir-fry

2 tablespoons avocado oil, halved

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon raw sugar

1/4 cup wild mushroom broth

1/4th teaspoon cumin

1/4th teaspoon cardamom

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 stem of fresh savory leaves only

1 stem of fresh thyme leaves only

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 baby bok choy, quartered

6 young carrots, quartered then halved, leaves reserved

1 kohlrabi, cut into bite sized pieces, leaves reserved

1 small bunch baby asparagus, trimmed

4 ounces crimini mushrooms

8-10 ounces mixed greens

Let’s get cooking:

For the mushroom broth

Begin by placing your dried mushroom in a bowl of cup, add boiling water and cover. Steep for 5-10 minutes of so, or until you have a fragrant broth.

For the stir-fry

In the meantime, pep all of your vegetable and set aside, placing your greens together and your kohlrabi and carrots together, leaving your mushrooms and baby bok choy separate.

Now prepare your herbs and spices (except sugar), then toss them briefly setting aside in a small bowl.

Heat your wok on a high flame until hot, add half of the avocado oil until very hot. Add sugar and then quickly add the baby bok choy. Caramelize, turning occasionally until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Return pan to heat and add remaining oil. Add garlic while continuously moving around the pan until fragrant and slightly translucent, about 1 minute.

Quickly add carrots and kohlrabi, toss a bit until they just start to get a hint of brown. Add the asparagus and continute to toss for another 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms continuing for another minute.

Now add your mushroom broth and herb/seasonings. Continuing to cook on high heat until most of the liquid is absorbed and vegetables are tender but firm.

Now add greens and toss a few moments until wilted…Serve immediately
Serves 4-6

Alisha~Magic of Spice

Please stop by The Ardent Epicure and follow one of the best blogs on the net.

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. awesome stir fry recipe! definitely need to try this - just need to track down some of that avocado oil

  2. Wonderful stir fry with some deliciously fragrant greens and ingredients - Avocado oil is something I have yet to try! Lovely Post Alisha & Lazaro

  3. I'm terrible with facebook and only check up on it once a week or so.. must get better about it since I am missing so much!! Looks like a great dish but then the Ardent Epicure is a great blog... always brilliant with great dishes.

  4. It is nice to meet you Lazaro Cooks, I adore Alisha! What a gorgeous stir fry, so hearty and delicious! Take Care, Terra

  5. An interesting take on a stir fry using ingredients that many would not have thought of, well done. I will check out the rest of the blog now!

    Laz, I just wrote the same thing on my blog, I just don't have time anymore to write out extensive recipes and posts on my blog any longer, it's time to work smart, right?

  6. As always, this looks amazing! Stir fry is supposed to be easy, but I can just as easily end up with a wok full of mushy vegetables! Alisha made another great meal look so effortless!

  7. Great spotlight Laz, I have been following Alisha since I can remember. Great dish!!!

  8. Absolutely amazing dish and pictures!

  9. As always, Alisha wows me with both her dishes and her photos! This sounds like the perfect seasonal dish...so yummy! Thanks for the wonderful guest post~

  10. Alisha is incredible! Everything she makes is a work of art and her photographs are breathtaking! This post is no exception... fabulous choice in a guest post! This is a lovely recipe - thanks for sharing, Alisha & Lazaro!

  11. Beautiful. Healthy. Delicious. Everything good here, including the photos.

  12. This is wonderful and Alisha is definitely deserving of the title The Veggie Queen. Not only a wonderful cook but such an accomplished photographer as well.

  13. Such a great post! Laz, you are right on all counts -- Alisha truly works magic with veggies and she is in fact one of the sweetest, most genuine bloggers I know.

    Alisha, thanks for the tips on working with spring greens! I've never had Chrysanthemum Greens but I am certainly intrigued. I have some radish greens in the fridge (because my 5 Star team's theme ingredient is radish!) and I was trying to think of a way to use them...this looks perfect!

  14. I love all these greens you are using! I bet this dish was very flavorful!

  15. First time here in your blog Lazaro! I love Alisha's creative recipes, colorful dishes, and wonderful knowledge about ingredients. Great post!

  16. Gorgeous - love all the Spring greens in this stir-fry. Headed back to our Farmer's Market tomorrow to see what they have.

  17. Laz, I love how you have Alisha here on your hot space. Alisha, I would love to venture out to the market with you and discover exciting produce like this. As always, amazing.

  18. What an absolutely beautiful and interesting array of greens! You bring a whole new level to shopping at the Farmers Market-wow.


  19. This is a very unique dish that sounds really delicious and nutritious also. I did not know about edible Chrysanthemum Greens, and even though I cook kohlrabi with wax beans in the summertime, I was unaware that its leaves are edible. Great guest post, Laz, and great recipe, Alisha! This makes me ready for the farmers markets to open here, but it will probably be another 2 or 3 weeks before they do.

  20. Found you through Alisha. She is the Queen of Veggies, that is for sure! What a great stir fry, so many things you can get at the farmers market.

  21. Such a lovely guest post! Fabulous combination of greens.

  22. What a great guest post and a beautiful spring meal! This looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing. Also, I'm having a ChicWrap giveaway today that you should enter!

  23. Alisha always inspire me with her photography and the most basic skill, how to cook great food. She does perfect work from beginning (stunning ingredient choices and photography) and cooking, and plating the food and all. It's amazing how much effort and detail work she put. I really admire of her. Thanks Laz for bringing Alisha!

  24. This is another wonderful example of Alisha's extraordinary recipes and stunning photography! Truly like the use of avocado oil in this recipe!

  25. Thank you again Laz for having me here...always enjoy being in your company!
    And thank you all for your lovely comments :)

  26. What a great recipe Alisha, I would love to try that broth!!


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