Sauteed kale in pot

Microwave Hack for Reviving Wilted Greens

For some people, grocery shopping results in an obligatory takeout order (because all that shopping was exhausting and time is of the essence), followed by finishing the leftovers for the next few days. By the time you finally attend to your groceries, that fresh bag of greens may have begun to wilt. However, it’s not a problem if you simply pop your wilted greens in the microwave to give them a new life.

It can be disappointing to discover the greens that you just bought have already begun to droop, especially if you were looking forward to turning them into a salad. Sure, they’re still edible, but they don’t have the same crispness as a fresh bag. Before you think of tossing the greens or blending them into a smoothie to get rid of them quickly, try steaming them in the microwave. The microwave offers both an unconventional way to rescue sad, wilted greens and an easy method for cooking them in half the time. Either way, the device is an underrated tool for whipping up a batch of delicious leafy greens.

After rinsing them, add some water or broth into a bowl filled with greens and cover it. Place it in the microwave for around one to two minutes, or up to four minutes for heartier greens like kale. The quick blast in the microwave will result in tender, delicious greens that taste the same as they would had you sauteed them on the stove.

What type of liquid should you use for microwaving greens?

Sauteed spinach with garlic

More than anything, having a liquid in the bowl is the most important part of microwaving greens. Without them, leafy greens are prone to causing sparks due to their high levels of minerals. To avoid this, chop up the salad greens and make sure they’re properly coated in water, broth, or oil. In terms of flavor, spinach’s mild taste may require something more savory, like vegetable broth. Toss the leaves in the liquid before heating and sprinkle your favorite herbs and spices on top. Low-effort yet impactful, this simple side can be served with another quick, delicious dish like hazelnut crumb-coated chicken.

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Arugula, on the other hand, is known for its peppery, sharp bite. The leaves need nothing more than water to avoid causing any sparking in the microwave. Douse the arugula in enough water to coat the leaves before heating and top it off with a dash of salt and pepper. The simple, tasty side is the perfect accompaniment to Korean-style air fryer salmon, which comes together in less than 20 minutes.

For a hearty green like kale, oil will tame the bitterness of the leaves while softening it into a delicate, sauteed appetizer. Heat olive oil with two cloves of crushed garlic in the microwave for about 30 seconds before massaging the rinsed and dried kale leaves in it. The kale can easily be topped off with other herbs and spices and served with gnocchi and pancetta, another quick dish.

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