Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
I'm not from the South, but when I first moved there I fell hard for greens. However, Yankee that I am, I don't feel that simmering them all day with a chunk of bacon truly releases their full potential. :D This is one of our favorite dishes and it can be adapted to suit many different varieties. I made turnip greens, cabbage, escarole, and curly endive last night. Mmmm. Note -- I guessed a bit on the weight because different greens are lighter or denser. A standard kitchen colander heaping full of chopped greens is about right. Prep time includes cleaning greens of ordinary sandiness. Really muddy ones out of your garden right after a rainstorm will take longer. ;)
- 2 -3 lbs mixed greens (See step one for suggested combinations)
- 3 -4 garlic cloves, crushed in press
- 2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 -2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or 1 -2 tablespoon red wine vinegar or 1 -2 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
- fresh ground black pepper
- Note on selecting greens: While you can cook just one type, I find that a mix of stronger greens such as mustard, turnip, collard, dandelion, curly endive, escarole, -- with milder greens such as kale, cabbage, chard, beet, napa, bok choi, spinach, -- gives the best depth of flavor. Usually I try to have 4 kinds: some strong, some mild, some with a firmer texture, some with a softer texture.
- Clean and chop greens. I think you get the best results from soaking them in a sink full of cold water. If they are very muddy you might start with a bucket of water to be dumped outdoors rather than put all that dirt down your drain.
- Heat up the garlic and olive oil in whatever pan you'd usually use for stir-fry. I use my cast iron chicken fryer. Add the strongest/toughest greens that need the longest cooking.
- Gently saute the greens, stirring frequently. Add more handfuls of greens from toughest/strongest to mildest/tenderest as they cook down.
- When they are just barely done stir in the vinegar then sprinkle on the parmesan.
- Turn off the heat, cover* the pan, and let sit 10 minutes before serving so that the vinegar can meld into the greens and the cheese can melt.
- Some people like more vinegar at the table, others just like a little black pepper.
- *If you've just realized that your pan has no lid don't panic. Cover it with aluminum foil or a large plate instead. ;).
This is a great way to cook greens! Squeezing a little lemon over it at the table complimented the flavors nicely.