Sunday, April 11, 2010
Eat Your Greens
Contributor Jim Dixon of Real Good Food loves him some greens, and filling his needs requires that his garden has substantial acreage (or would it be footage?) devoted to the task. This time he waxes eloquent about collards, one of my new favorite garden greens.
I stole the name from Nostrana, where they serve collard greens cooked long and slow with a little pork, onion, and red pepper. They reminded me of cavalo nero (aka “lacinato” kale) the way I like to cook it, braised in olive oil with onion. I liked them more than my usual Southern style collards, which are also slow cooked with some kind of pork and onion, but in more water so you end up with a fair amount of pot likker.
Collard is an abbreviation of colewort. This member of the cabbage family isn’t really eaten in Italy, so the tag affogato—literally, drowned—is a homegrown construct. But I read not long ago about Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini raving about collards during a visit to the south, so they’re Italian now.
Cut a couple of bunches of collard greens by trimming the bottom inch, then rolling about half a bunch into a tight cylinder and cutting across the roll into half inch strips (called chiffonade). I usually cut the resulting little pinwheels again in the other direction.
Cut a couple of slices of bacon into small dice. Cook with a little olive oil until brown, then add a medium onion, also diced. Cook together for about 5 minutes, then add the collards, about a cup of water, and a pinch of sea salt. Add some red pepper flakes if you like things spicy. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for at least 30 minutes (45 is better, I think).
Serve with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.
Photo by Karen Morton of Wild Garden Seed.
Posted by Kathleen Bauer at 5:55 PM