Greens, Glorious Greens

Dark, leafy greens, such as Swiss chard, kale, collards, and bok choy are delicious, versatile, and super-healthy. Chowhounds have many favorite ways to prepare them, from tossing them in frittatas or simply sautéing with a squeeze of lemon, to serving them with pasta and in soups.

Southern-style greens cooked with smoky meats (such as bacon, salt pork, or smoked turkey wings) are popular: Brown the meat to render some of its fat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add greens, cover and cook until wilted, then uncover and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper and some cider vinegar. “Don’t forget the hot pepper,” advises Hungry Celeste, “or serve with some pepper vinegar on the side.” scubadoo97 likes these for breakfast with a fried egg on top.

pigtails says kale is “amazingly delicious” blanched, then sautéed with a shallot, a little nutmeg, and a splash of cream. jen kalb likes a simple Chinese preparation: Blanch the greens until crisp-tender, drain them, and drizzle with oyster sauce. Heat a couple tablespoons peanut oil until smoking, add shredded ginger and cook a minute, then pour over the greens and stir.

Chopped greens liven up any broth-based soups. pitu calls this method from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook “a genius simple surprise”: Sweat a couple onions, add some chile flakes and kale cut in ribbons, cover with water, and simmer 30 minutes or less. Emme simmers greens and wild mushrooms in miso broth until tender, adds some Bragg Liquid Aminos, then drizzles in egg whites beaten with garlic and herb seasoning to make egg drop soup. And try vegetable-rich Winter Greens Soup.

Another option: simple dishes of greens and pasta. Sauté greens with garlic in olive oil, then add diced ripe tomatoes, season with vinegar or red pepper flakes, and toss with pasta. Add olives, pine, nuts, anchovy, or other savory ingredients; sweetTooth is a fan of harissa spaghettini with kale and olives. When you’re more ambitious, try CHOW’s Winter Greens Lasagne or malfati, which pitu describes as “lucious balls of chard leaves, ricotta, eggs, and parmasean, served in sage butter.”

Board Link: Greens - how do you prepare them

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