Eataly's Vegetable Guru Teaches Us How to Cook with Greens

By Matthew Thompson, "The Glory of Greens," March/April 2012

Break out of the basic-lettuce rut and let our experts guide you through the amazing world of leafy greens, from teeny, tender oak leaf lettuce to hearty, rippled Savoy cabbage.

To answer these sorts of questions, Batali and a co-worker came up with the idea of a vegetable butcher: a counter in the produce section, attached to Le Verdure, where a chef will cut and clean your vegetables for free, dispensing sage advice on how to use them. "I hope it encourages customers to be creative in their produce purchases," says Batali. "Hopefully the vegetable butcher will broaden home cooks' repertoires, save time and make cooking vegetables more appealing." That's a sentiment that vegetable butcher Alicia Walter shares: "It's this great idea of performance art/selling vegetables," she says. "We get so many questions. People are afraid of trying new things."

With help from Lotus and Walter, we've laid out easy-to-follow instructions for cleaning, prepping and storing greens. Best of all, we've assembled a delicious array of recipes, from Eataly's founders themselves. Try Le Verdure's hearty Tuscan soup or Lidia Bastianich's simple yet stunning pasta with sauteed greens. Whatever you pick, you'll probably find it much simpler than you'd expected… and, chances are, much tastier as well.

Next: How should I wash and dry my greens? »

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