Braised greens

Braising greens

Braising greens

Switching to a diet focusing on local and fresh food means exploring a lot of new foods. This can be a little daunting. Strange, nobby roots; blue potatoes and striped tomatoes; curly garlic scapes . Some are instant new favorites, some take a while to grow on me.

As a committed locavore I knew I should be embracing greens, but it’s taken me a while to warm up to them. I’ve been put off by memories of the limp bitter collard greens my grandmother would buy frozen and boil to an inch of their lives. Faced with a second cold spring in a row, with a lot of greens and delayed everything else, I finally rolled up my sleeves and learned to deal with them.

They’re wonderful. It turns out to be a snap to prep, cook, and serve these seasonal leaves. Here’s what to do:

Braised Greens

Shop for greens at your favorite farmer’s market. Any green is good, it’s fun and tasty to mix several different kinds together. Local greens include kale of several kinds, beet greens, carrot tops, spinach, and of course collards.

Chop the greens. I take the bigger tough stems out. They don’t have to be chopped finely, big coarse pieces are fine.

Optional: chop some green onions, garlic scapes, or both.

Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add oil, say olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic for a minute or two.

Throw on the greens. They always look like they’ll fill up the pan, but they shrink down a lot.

Saute for another minute or two, until they’re cooked down a bit. Put on a plate and serve immediately. This dish doesn’t keep so it’s best to do it just before everything else reaches the table.

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