Tuesday, April 17, 2012

a recipe for southern greens...napa farmhouse style

i have become addicted to greens .  like eating them every day addicted...either in green smoothies for breakfast, or huge salads for lunch, or as a side dish at dinner sautéed, stir fried, raw, added to pasta sauce, you name it, i probably like it.  i experimented by roasting kale until crisp and seasoned with good grey salt. (delicious).  so it was not a stretch to make greens the main course for dinner last week.

i had read a magazine article talking about a southern greens recipe....full of fatback and ham and bacon fat...probably delicious...but not the healthy dish i was looking for so i created my own version.  this one emphasizes the taste of the greens and is flavored with seasonings, sparkling apple cider for sweetness, honey mustard and balsamic vinegar to balance out the salt/sweet and is made main-dish worthy by the addition of either vegetarian "ground beef" or ground turkey. southern greens are usually a mixture of turnip greens, beet greens, collard, mustard and kale.  you can use whatever you like...just one type or a blend of your favorites.

i serve these greens with a side of corn bread and call it dinner. for non-vegetarians, i sometimes quickly sauté fresh shrimp in garlic and red pepper flakes (i use our aglio, olio, peperoncino) and pile on top of the greens.

i told my good friend brooke about these greens.  she is originally from arkansas and the look on her face was priceless when i told her it was a vegetarian version..."no fat back?"  she cried.  we agreed that the "real version" was delicious as a once-in a-while treat.  the farmhouse recipe can be enjoyed much more often.  aah, the spirit of compromise.  enjoy the greens everyone!

southern greens, napa farmhouse style
1 lb vegetarian ground ground (i like yves brand) or ground turkey
1/2 white onion, chopped in large pieces
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup sparking apple cider
1 tbsp honey mustard
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
14 oz southern greens (mix of collard, kale, mustard and turnip, whatever you like) torn into large pieces, tough center ribs discarded

large pinch aglio olio peperoncinio, or red pepper flakes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

if using ground turkey, brown meat in large skillet, drain and place on plate for use later. wipe down skillet with a paper towel and add olive oil.  heat over medium heat until oil shimmers, add onion.  sauté until translucent. add the veggie ground round (or reserved turkey if using), the broth, apple cider, mustard and balsamic vinegar.   stir to combine.

add 2 large handfuls of the greens to the skillet.  stir until wilted.  when you have room in the pan, add more greens and, again, stir until wilted.  continue this process until all greens have been added to the pan.  add the aglio or red pepper flakes and a large pinch each of the salt and pepper.  stir.  cover pan, reduce heat to low and cook for 45 minutes.  taste and adjust seasonings.  use a slotted spoon to spoon onto serving plates.  serve immediately.

**note...be sure to keep the reserved juices...called "pot likker" in the south.  this delicious liquid contains a number of essential nutrients.  i always plan to make a big pot of beans the day after i make these greens and use the pot likker as part of the liquid needed. **

ok, southern green fans.  that is my recipe.  give it a try and let me know what you think.  and feel free to post your favorite "fat back, salt pork, ham hock, bacon" version in the comments section.  i don't think you can ever have too many recipes for southern greens...do you?


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