On a cold and snowy day and I was walking on an unfamiliar sidewalk in Newark, NJ. I was looking for a door, not unlike Willy Wonka, to find a place where I heard they grew salad greens indoors.
Was this really possible? In Newark?
Well, I can now tell you that the answer is yes! There is a company repurposing old buildings in urban areas, hiring locals to build community and creating REALLY DELICIOUS SALAD GREENS… IN NEW JERSEY! Look out Garden State, we have a new agricultural wonder – it’s Love Dream Greens. Please check out their website to see all of the great benefits that this company and salad greens provide. They have all of the story lines down – sustainable, community-minded, local, no pesticides, non GMO, use less water to grow, you name it, they do it. But, honestly, I don’t really care about any of that unless it’s delicious. And the greens are delicious. The watercress is spicy yet elegant (just like me, ha!). The arugula (my personal fave) is closer to Italian rocket and peppery. The baby kale I actually like, because, unlike most baby kales, it’s not all stem, it’s an actual leaf with a bit o’stem. The greens are interesting (think pac choi and Ruby streaks mustard greens), not run of the mill mesclun mix. And I also learned how nutritious they are, which makes me even happier! Did you know that watercress has more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk and more vitamin C than an orange? I didn’t either until now…
Which is why I developed a sauce, a relish if you will, for Love Dream Greens with watercress. I decided not to do a salad (although if you look at my insta, you know I love a good salad) and create something more versatile that is also dairy and nut-free. I wanted to move beyond watercress sandwiches and bring out the bold nature of these greens. I’ll tell you, I love green relishes. When I first read about sauces like chermoula, salsa verde, and the like, I thought that I could somehow come up with my own someday. Love Dream Greens gave me the perfect opportunity. This sauce that I came up with is dairy and nut-free and adds zest to anything you are eating. It’s nutrient dense with pepitas (which is a calabaza squash seed), lemon and mint. Have this sauce around and you can dress up anything; chicken, meat, fish, vegetables, rice, tempeh, you name it. And, this is possibly one of the simplest things that you can make; drop everything in a food processor or blender and whir, and you are done- this requires no cooking. You will probably never hear me say that again, a ONE STEP luscious and bright dinner relish that perks up any meal! (and honestly sometimes I eat it with a spoon, no, really I do!)
Oh, right, Marcy, you just told me that the greens are in Newark. I am not driving to Newark on one of your little “food mystery adventure rides” that you like to do. Well, guess what? Newark is going through a Renaissance? Well, yes, that’s true but…they sell through Fresh Direct!! That’s right, you can get these awesome greens from New Jersey delivered to your house in Jersey! Boom! What’s not to love?
Check out their site, see the benefits, enjoy the greens. You will love Dream Greens, grown in vertical Aerofarms, just as much as I do!
Chef Marcy’s Embellished Green Relish
Featuring Love Dream Greens
Yields a little over two cups of relish
One note: Please use fresh herbs
2 4.5 oz packages Dream greens baby watercress
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
1 tsp. Fresh oregano leaves (can also substitute with more mint)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Zest from one lemon
Juice from one lemon (same lemon)
1 TBSP salt packed capers, rinsed and drained
1 tsp sea salt
A few grinds of fresh pepper
½ cup toasted and cooled unsalted pepitas or pumpkin seeds
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a food processor or a high powered blender, place: watercress, mint, oregano, garlic, lemon juice and zest, capers, salt, fresh pepper, and seeds. Pulse to break things up and get things going.
- After a few pulses, add olive oil to watercress mixture. Turn on processor again and continue to blend until everything is one homogenous sauce and everything is blended together. It can be a little chunky. You may have to scrape down the bowl a bit and then blend again.
- Relish will keep in the refrigerator, in an airtight container for about 7-12 days. A ball jar with a seal and tight fitting lid is great for this. If you want to halve the recipe, go for it. I just like having a lot of this around 🙂
Download Chef Marcy’s Embellished Green Relish recipe here.