How to Cook Leafy Greens

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While there are many different ways to enjoy robust leafy greens like kale, collards, swiss chard, or turnip or beet greens, we love this simple method for an easy side dish.  It combines a quick blanch of the greens with a nice saute that adds flavor, plus it is adaptable to whatever you have on hand or whatever you feel like using that day. 


This simple recipe is a great way to use up a bunch of greens, and you can even use more than one variety together in one dish. 



Ingredients (and Options): 


- A big hunk of greens or combination of multiple greens (you should fill your fist with the stems and have a big bouquet of greens coming out from there);


- An allium of some sort (or a combination), for example, an onion and some garlic cloves or a half an onion and a few garlic scapes, or 3-4 shallots;


- A sweet pepper of any color is optional (red adds a nice visual appeal);


- Olive oil, a vinegar, and a liquid sweetener - for example, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup are a nice combination as are red wine vinegar and honey;


- Salt & Pepper to taste.




Step One: Prepare your Greens

If you haven't already, give your greens a nice soak in cold water for about 5 minutes to freshen them up and get rid of any lingering soil or bugs.  Shake off the water or dry slightly, then remove any large stems.  For kale and collards you'll want to cut the greens off of either side of the stem; for chard, beet greens, or turnip greens, simply remove any large stems.  Keep whole leaves for now, you'll chop them smaller later.


Step Two: Blanch your Greens & Chop

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare a large bowl of cold water with ice.  Add greens to the boiling water and blanch for one to two minutes (depending on how tough or thick they are).  Remove from the boiling water and immediately plunge into the cold water to stop the cooking process.  Remove from the water, squeeze out, and now you can chop the greens into smaller chunks.


Step Three: Saute it All

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and add your onions, cook until lightly browned, then add your garlic (adjust depending on what you're using) and cook for 1 more minute.  Add your greens, along with your choice of vinegar and sweetener (about 1-2 Tablespoons of each, to taste).  Saute for another minute or two to bring it all together, then season with salt and pepper to taste.


Serve up a big hunk of greens and enjoy!


When it's time to thin your turnips and beets,

don't let the greens go to waste!  These Turnip Greens provided

about 5 meals' worth of side greens!



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