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Cooking Big Fat Leafy Greens


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#1 commander

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 07:12 PM

We enjoy eating big leafy greens in this house, particularly the varieties of chard, mustard greens, kale, American collard greens. I insist upon taking as much care and attention to the preparation of these as I do the main dish. To cook them, I add some water to a large saute pan, bring it to a simmer, pile on the leaves, and cover. I lift the lid and poke them with a fork to check their progress. Depending upon the green, I may sweat some onion or shallot in the pan before adding the greens or add a little butter when they are finishing, and season if I'd like the greens to take up the flavor. Unless I am negligent, they cook well with this technique. Have you a critique to make of this method or a systematic approach to bringing out the full flavor from this class of vegetables?

#2 Shaun Hill

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 09:53 AM

I think that your method is spot on. The difficulty with coarser or bigger green leaves is the trade off between fresh tasting and soft texture. Unlike the method for most greens I use minimal water and then add olive oil or sesame to the drained result. If you shake the pan around whilst doing this the oil will form a temporary emulsion with the remaining droplets of water and steam. The advantage of this is that all the seasonings will distribute themselves evenly as with mayonnaise.

The best aspect was that you take care of the vegetables not just whatever meat or veg is centre stage. Not everyone does.