Friday, September 30, 2011

Hearty Greens

It’s that time again…hearty greens are in. Not only super good for you they are super delicious too. When I think of hearty greens I immediately think of collards. Cooked to death (not necessarily in a bad way, I love them) with some smoked meat product, maybe some onion and green bell pepper, with a dash of hot pepper vinegar. Yum! Or the traditional Southern New Year’s Day combo of black eyed peas and collard greens you should eat to insure luck (BEP) and prosperity (greens) for the upcoming year. Don’t just stop there... greens are incredibly versatile as well and there is a huge variety to work with; collards, Swiss chard, mustard, turnip, kale…all delightful in their own way. I have focused on chard and collards although the possibilities are endless, soups, casseroles, chips, slaws, stewed, sautéed, even raw!
Also, check out our post from earlier this year for Yummy Juice (scroll down) recipe here ”Juiced raw collards?” you ask? They are delicious and remarkably sweet! Try something new but most importantly: EAT YOUR GREENS!!!!!

Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens (I like to call this “New Years Day”)
Serves: 4-6 as a side

4 ounces bacon or country ham*, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup diced onion
½ cup chopped bell peppers
3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped celery leaves
1 large or 2 small collard leaves, stems removed and cut into thin ribbons
2 cups cooked black eyed peas (you can use canned)
1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

     In a 10 inch straight sided sauté pan over medium heat cook the bacon or country ham until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the olive oil (if necessary) and the onions and peppers. Cook until they begin to get soft about 5-7 minutes, then add the garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add the celery leaves and collards and toss to combine. Add the black eyed peas and stock and raise the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover and cook for just a few minutes until the beans and collards are tender (not mush). Uncover and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the vinegar and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

*If you use country ham your salt needs will be way less…also depending on your bacon and it’s salt content you may not need any extra here at all!

Chard Soup with Turkey Meat Balls: Serves: 4-6

1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
¼ cup whole wheat panko or homemade bread crumbs
1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
Few grinds of black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ a large onion, chopped, about 1 cup
1 bunch of Swiss chard, leaves removed from stems and all chopped
8 ounces, tomatoes, chopped, about 1 cup
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
4 cups water
1 cup Israeli cous cous, or quick cooking barley
Couple tablespoons each fresh oregano and basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
More Parmesan for serving

     In a bowl combine the turkey through ¼ cup Parmesan. Using a fork or your fingers gently work all the ingredients together being careful not to over work the mixture. Portion the balls into 1 ounce or tablespoon portions (I use a small disher) and place on a sheet pan in the fridge.
Put the oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes, add the chopped chard stems and cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to break down. And the stock and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and gently add the turkey meatballs, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cous cous and chard leaves and simmer for another 10-12 minutes or until the cous cous is tender and the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from the heat, stir in the herbs, taste and add salt and pepper if desired and serve hot with Parmesan and some nice toasted or grilled crusty bread! If you can’t finish the whole pot freeze in individual portions and enjoy it later!

Thanks for reading, V

1 comment:

  1. I became *obsessed* with teriyaki-ish mustard greens for a few weeks at this time last year! Rinse well and cut into strips, saute in a little sesame oil until just starting to wilt, then add equal parts soy sauce, mirin (rice wine vinegar), and sake if you have it, a bit of sugar, and some minced garlic. Let it all bubble until the sauce thickens a bit and the greens are done. It sounds pretty weird, but it's *delicious*.