We had plans for the evening the day that I picked up my share, so it sat and waited for me to clean and put it away for most of the night. By the time we got home, I was too tired to do much, and I left the chard and collards on my counter overnight. This meant that I had to do something with them the next day or else they would have been beyond wilted. So I whipped out my friend’s recipe and went to work.
This recipe is adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners. It’s a vegetarian approach to cooking greens that is supposed to make up for the lack of porky yumminess with other flavors. Funny then, that the first thing I thought upon tasting it was, “this would be better with some bacon.”
Also, the recipe is somewhat fussy for my taste. I made it work because I was working from home that day and had more time to tend the stove, but if I make this again, it will be with some major modifications to reduce the steps.
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp kosher salt
3 – 4 lbs greens, washed and cut into strips
1 large onion, diced
2 large tomatoes, seeded, peeled and chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp paprika
5 cloves garlic, sliced (!)
1 tsp black pepper
In a large pot boil 8 C water. Add dried chilies and 1 Tbsp of salt. Simmer 5 mins, then add greens. Turn heat down to simmer and note time.
In a large saute pan, place onion, garlic, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, paprika, peper, and salt, and stir. Put the pan over med high heat, and let the mixture cook down for about 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally, cook until the mixture is gooey and darkened. The Lee brothers now want you to blend this in a food processor, a step that I just skipped. No doubt that it would have returned a better result, but I didn’t have the energy for one more step.
With a ladle, remove 6 C cooking liquid from the greens pot and reserve for vegetable stock. Add the onion tomato mix to the greens, and cook, uncovered, until they have been simmered for a total of one hour from the time you noted in the first step. The greens should be completely soft and bathed in pale red gravy.
Serve with parmesan, or a poached egg.