When people think of Central New York, they rarely think of specialty food. Unless you live there, you probably wouldn’t know that Syracuse has some of the best barbecue in the northeast, apple fritters are worth attending those god-awful apple festivals for and that Utica Greens even exist.
Josh is from Westmoreland (a Utica suburb), which is where I was introduced to Utica Greens. We ordered them one day – along with wings of course- from Knuckleheads, one of the only restaurants in Westmo. I was immediately obsessed: garlicky spicy sautéed greens mixed with breadcrumbs, cheese and prosciutto. I wasn’t, however, obsessed with how I felt after cleaned out the styrofoam takeout container almost by myself. Of course, I set out to create a healthy version of Utica Greens.
This is our second month of our “Take Two” series, in which we create two versions of one recipe: one vegan, one not (be sure to check out our first installment, Moroccan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie). Here, both recipes for Utica Greens are gluten-free and healthier than the Knuckleheads version. One contains bacon and parmesan (remember to buy from quality sources!), while the other uses shiitake “bacon” and almond-nutritional-yeast parmesan “cheese.” No wonky, soy ingredients here; just real food substitutes.