Sunday, July 15, 2012

Savory Garlic-Pepper Greens

Whether you use spinach, collard greens, kale, chard, turnip greens, beet greens, mustard greens or any other greens or mixture of them, this healthy recipe will add zesty flavor without the fat of traditional recipes that call for fatback, ham, oil or other such ingredients. The photo shows beet greens that have been cooked according to this recipe. The amounts listed below are very flexible and can be adjusted as needed or desired based on what you have on hand and your taste preferences.

Approx. 1 lb dark leafy greens of your choice, washed and trimmed of tough stems
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock (not broth), preferably homemade
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Salt to taste
Cider vinegar, lemon juice or hot sauce, to taste (I recommend a basic vinegar pepper sauce like Tabasco, Texas Pete, or Gator Hammock Gator Sauce. If you want a splash of bacon flavor without the fat or calories of bacon, then use Bacon Hot Sauce.)

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the greens and cook until they begin to soften and turn bright green (about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on type and quantity of greens). Drain the greens into a colander and rinse with very cold water until cool to the touch. Set aside to drain off as much water as possible.

While the greens drain, combine the stock and garlic in a large, deep saute pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the stock is reduced by half.  While the stock and garlic simmer, squeeze out any excess water from the greens and coarsely chop. Once the stock mixture is reduced, add the greens and red pepper, stir well to combine, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Let the greens cook to desired tenderness, stirring occasionally (this could take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on type and quantity of greens). Uncover, taste for balance, and season to taste with salt and your choice of vinegar, lemon juice or hot sauce.

Zestfully yours,

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