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Greens are as foreign to the typical Yankee as grits are.  Which is a shame, considering how I love spinach and other green leafy vegetables.

How should I, as a greens newbie, prepare them?  Would I cook them in a manner similar to spinach, which I love sauteed with garlic and lemon?

Sounds like you are already eating greens. Do you want to try southern style greens? Many of the greens commonly consumed in the south may be prepared just as you, and I very often, prepare spinach. Are you wanting to do the low and slow greens with a wedge of cornbread? If so, then there are many collard afficianados that can assist you. This time of year, in your geography, that is probably all you can get your hands on fresh and at a decent level of quality. In a few months the variety will open up like crazy.

I'll be happy to help in any way I can.

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Greens are as foreign to the typical Yankee as grits are.  Which is a shame, considering how I love spinach and other green leafy vegetables.

How should I, as a greens newbie, prepare them?  Would I cook them in a manner similar to spinach, which I love sauteed with garlic and lemon?

Sounds like you are already eating greens. Do you want to try southern style greens? Many of the greens commonly consumed in the south may be prepared just as you, and I very often, prepare spinach. Are you wanting to do the low and slow greens with a wedge of cornbread? If so, then there are many collard afficianados that can assist you. This time of year, in your geography, that is probably all you can get your hands on fresh and at a decent level of quality. In a few months the variety will open up like crazy.

I'll be happy to help in any way I can.

Based on your previous post on the subject I would personally like to know more about how you prepare greens of various types. I have cooked collards etc., and although they are usually tasty, I rarely achieve the depths of flavor found at good meat and threes (slow and low, I assume) or at southern fine dining establishments (more al dente). I could use some education on the subject...........

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I've never seen any---just always knew there had to be some sometime. I've also never seen a rutabaga just out of the ground---we of the acres of gardens STILL had to go get those wax-covered ones at the grocery store.

And Welcome, oh-so-aptly-named-for-the-greens-thread, ham hock!!

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Greens are as foreign to the typical Yankee as grits are.  Which is a shame, considering how I love spinach and other green leafy vegetables.

How should I, as a greens newbie, prepare them?  Would I cook them in a manner similar to spinach, which I love sauteed with garlic and lemon?

Sounds like you are already eating greens. Do you want to try southern style greens? Many of the greens commonly consumed in the south may be prepared just as you, and I very often, prepare spinach. Are you wanting to do the low and slow greens with a wedge of cornbread? If so, then there are many collard afficianados that can assist you. This time of year, in your geography, that is probably all you can get your hands on fresh and at a decent level of quality. In a few months the variety will open up like crazy.

I'll be happy to help in any way I can.

Based on your previous post on the subject I would personally like to know more about how you prepare greens of various types. I have cooked collards etc., and although they are usually tasty, I rarely achieve the depths of flavor found at good meat and threes (slow and low, I assume) or at southern fine dining establishments (more al dente). I could use some education on the subject...........

(Taking a deep breath as I know I am about to get long winded)

For mature collards, the dark green and leathery ones, I sweat a small yellow onion and about half a bell pepper in butter or bacon fat in the bottom of a pressure cooker. This is more to "sweeten" the greens than to flavor them. About a quart of water, a large smoked ham hock (smoked neckbones or a smoked trotter will work as well, or a leftover ham bone) and a Knorr ham bullion cube. I pull the largest of the center ribs out of the leaves, because they are super tough and no amount of cooking will soften them, but leave the smaller ribs in for texture and flavor. Roll the leaves up and cut into strips, dump in the pressur e cooker and then process under pressure for about 30 minutes. Simmer for another hour and a half to two hours, then taste the pot liker (cooking juices) for seasoning. I rarely have to add salt, in fact I can't remember the last time I had to. I then finish with about 2 tablespoons of butter. Without a pressure cooker, count on four hours of simmering. These are good with a hoecake made simply of white self rising cornmeal, salt and water mixed into a barely pourable slurry then fried in bacon grease or vegetable oil as you would a pancake. If the greens are still bitter, many people add a dollop of cane syrup. Personally I like them a little bitter, but have used maple syrup to sweeten greens, and the maple syrup is more subtle than cane syrup. You will get better flavor from the whole leaf collards rather than the precut collards, but you have to wash them thoroughly or you will end up with sandy grit in your greens.

Turnips, mustard, and kale are too delicate for the pressure cooker. Look for turnips still on the root if you can find them, the greens will be fresher. It is getting harder to come by them lately, so buy them seperately. A bundle of turnips or a bag of precut will need about 3 to 4 good sized turnip roots. Once again, a pork stock with smoked meat and either salt or a ham bullion cube depending upon how smoky you want the greens. I don't usually add the onion and pepper as I do with collards, because they don't seem to need it. Bring it up to a boil, then add your greens a little at a time, they will wilt down appreciably, reduce to a simmer. Kale makes a great substitute for mustard if you can't find mustard. I prefer to tear these greens instead of chopping them as I do the collards, as they hold together better. Kale is tougher than turnip, which is usually tougher than mustard. I give kale about a 30 minute head start in the simmering, and give turnip greens about 20 minutes simmering ahead of adding mustard. After about an hour and a half, peel and slice the turnip root and add to the pot of greens. Taste the pot liker and adjust salt or sweet. Another 30 minutes or until the roots are tender and falling apart. Turnip greens are vastly improved with the roots. A dash of pepper infused vinegar and a slab of baked yellow cornbread from the black skillet in an oven are all you need. I've used every combination of greens in this sort of prep except collards and cabbage. Collards just don't play well with others. The triple threat of kale, turnips and mustard are my husband's favorite. If you can get your hands on some dandelion, by all means toss a handful in, but dandelion doesn't stand as well on its own. Kale, mustard and turnips all do. Look for whole leaf greens here as well. The precut stuff just doesn't taste as fresh, to me, and is actually harder to clean. Some people slice a mild banana pepper on top of their serving.

Now, you know everything I do about greens, and should have no problem competing with a meat and three. Very simple, and very good for you. It's little known, but collards actually increase in nutrional value when cooked. Let me hear how they turn out.

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Rutabega tops are a personal favorite of mine. Anybody else eat them? You usually have to grow your own, I've never seen any in a store, or even a farmer's market.

Oh, I love them! I used to be able to get them at a Farmer's market in Thomasville, GA but they just aren't around here. Prepared like turnips with the roots cut in, they are wonderful. A little brown sugar or maple syrup and butter to finish. Yum, and even better warmed over the next day.

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Collards for a crowd. We like to cook this in a big pot, like the kind you boil crawfish in, on a propane cooker , for a BBQ. Makes a nice side instead of the usual potato salad and baked beans, or even better, in addition to. Put in the pot of water

2 or 3 lbs country ribs or other fresh pork, fat trimmed off.

One pack of salt pork, cut in two across the grain.

Salt and black pepper to taste.

Boil about the time it takes to drink a beer ( 2nt beer), then add six onions, roughly chopped/sliced.

Cook untill the onions are translucent and are about to fall apart. Then add several bunches of collards and a bag of cut up okra ( or fresh, if its available). When the collards are getting near done, put in new potatoes, or red potatoes cut up, and continue cooking untill potatoes are done, then turn off heat.

A pot lid is always good to have to keep bugs out, and don't forget to trim the fat off the fresh pork ,otherwise it will render into grease and while some people like a lot of grease in collards, most do not.

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I was mentioning this topic to my husband this morning (we both love greens). He asked me if I had posted about our secret for good greens. I confessed that I had forgotten about it.

The secret: add a little bit (about 2 tsp.) of soy sauce to the pot about 10 min. before greens come off the heat. It adds a real depth of flavor. Make sure you pay attention to your salt use, as the soy will provide alot.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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  • 2 weeks later...

'body else have an elderly female relative that swore you had to have 3 types of greens in the pot for good luck? I'm most partial to mustard greens, but always felt a little guilty about omitting the collard and turnips.......

My real question is, if you simmer your hocks first and separate from the greens, do you then throw out the water in which it was boiled and then add greens with fresh, or no?

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'body else have an elderly female relative that swore you had to have 3 types of greens in the pot for good luck?  I'm most partial to mustard greens, but always felt a little guilty about omitting the collard and turnips.......

My real question is, if you simmer your hocks first and separate from the greens, do you then throw out the water in which it was boiled and then add greens with fresh, or no?

No, you want that stock to cook the greens in and flavor them.

You would be surprised at the salt and flavor that it imparts, and usually I don't even need to season when adding a ham bullion cube. You aren't discarding the hock as well, are you?

Yeah, I had an aunt who served three greens on New Year's day.

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I was mentioning this topic to my husband this morning (we both love greens). He asked me if I had posted about our secret for good greens. I confessed that I had forgotten about it.

The secret: add a little bit (about 2 tsp.) of soy sauce to the pot about 10 min. before greens come off the heat. It adds a real depth of flavor. Make sure you pay attention to your salt use, as the soy will provide alot.

I use soy in spinach quite often. Sounds good.

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I've got a nice mess of tender mustard greens and some big hunks of leftover baked ham cooking in my new-for-Christmas LeC Dutch oven, along with a skillet of stir-fried yellow squash and lots of chopped onion---tiny bits of roasted red peppers for the pretty of it. The cornbread just turned out nice and crusty, and I also cooked a small acorn squash that had been lingering about since before Christmas. It's in a butter-sugar-vanilla syrup, so Chris will probably treat that as dessert.

There's a lovely jar of salt-water dills chilling, along with a big flat broad-shouldered sweet onion.

All that and several of our favorite shows on Tivo---Sounds like it will be a perfect night, as soon as Chris gets home.

Edited by racheld (log)
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  • 1 month later...

You aren't discarding the hock as well, are you?

:laugh: No, Ah dew believe that would be somewhat analogous to throwing out the baby with the bathwater, et non? Just asking since I saw that in a receipt not long ago.........

Sounds like somebody is trying to save some fat consumption, but when you look at the fat content vs. the quantity of leafy green vegetables and the fibre, it really isn't that alarming.

My husband and the dog split the hock in my house. I would have some grumpy living companions if I threw out the hock!

:biggrin:

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hehe I am in that same camp, me and #1 son split the hock.

I also picked up a few bunches of mustards yesterday, they just looked so fresh and nice. Are they coming into season now?

I've not tried them before so we are looking forward to tonight's supper.

-mike

-Mike & Andrea

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I want the garlicky creamed collards that The Blissful Glutton posted about on the Dinner thread. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1375274]click

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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'body else have an elderly female relative that swore you had to have 3 types of greens in the pot for good luck?  I'm most partial to mustard greens, but always felt a little guilty about omitting the collard and turnips.......

My real question is, if you simmer your hocks first and separate from the greens, do you then throw out the water in which it was boiled and then add greens with fresh, or no?

i like smoked pork hock the best with low 'n slow greens, but smoked turkey neck is good too, as well as just about any left over smoked pig or bird you might have. i never discard that lovely smoky stock. use it to cook the greens. i saute sliced onions and chopped garlic to add to the pork hock while cooking.

tomorrow night i'm cooking turnip greens. will add red potatoes to the pot with pork hock/onions/garlic till almost cooked. then large dice potatoes and near the end return them while greens are simmering with hock. remove and cut up the smoky hock, add meat to greens. splash with tabasco vinegar [i grow and make my own], or with hot mustard vinegar. depends on taste test whether i add a touch of sugar or not.

served with wedges of cornbread this is a meal for me. :wub:

kale is my favorite for adding to soups; love the texture and the flavor. spinach is still my favorite for stir frys or add-ins to frittatas, etc. and fresh spinach on most sandwiches beats lettuce for me any day.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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  • 2 months later...

I eat my greens sauteed in a little water with garlic and a piece of salt pork. Just bought a mess of them at the farmers' market today... rainbow chard and dandelion greens. (Giving the collards a rest for the week.) Love to mix the sauteed greens with a little ricotta cheese mixed with whole wheat pasta, and a little parmesan depending on how much salt the salt pork imparted.

I really like the breakfast idea with a piece of thick bread topped with greens and a fried egg.

What do you all do with the tough centers? Is there any way to make them useful? I feel bad about just tossing out all these pretty rainbow chard centers.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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I eat my greens sauteed in a little water with garlic and a piece of salt pork.  Just bought a mess of them at the farmers' market today... rainbow chard and dandelion greens.  (Giving the collards a rest for the week.)  Love to mix the sauteed greens with a little ricotta cheese mixed with whole wheat pasta, and a little parmesan depending on how much salt the salt pork imparted.

I really like the breakfast idea with a piece of thick bread topped with greens and a fried egg.

What do you all do with the tough centers?  Is there any way to make them useful?  I feel bad about just tossing out all these pretty rainbow chard centers.

Compost.

They are absolutely lovely, though, aren't they?

Someone else may have a better solution.

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That's pretty much what I figured. I did find this online:

Swiss Chard is probably the most under appreciated of all vegetables. It is vitamin rich and nutritious, and is extremely easy to grow. Swiss chard tastes good and you can eat both the stalk and the leaves. The leaves can be used as a fresh salad or cooked like spinach. The stalks are cut up and cooked in a variety of dishes.

But the "variety of dishes" was never expounded upon. Hmph! Well, yesterday's centers went in the trash (I live in an apartment, and therefore no compost). Maybe I could've made a pinkish stock with them?! :blink::shock:

As for the dandelions...I did read elsewhere that dandelion green centers have a natural form of latex in them... which might have interesting digestive effects. Although as a kid I remember the flower stalks having more of that milky sap in them than the leaves did, which was fun to smear on things.

Forgot to add that I came upon an interesting bunch of Asian greens at the farmers' market yesterday. There was the usual baby bok choy, and also yu choy (which was bitter, but with very pretty yellow flowers that I just chopped up along with the rest of it), and tatsoi. There was also a smaller leaf one in the bunch that looked and tasted a lot like baby kale, but I've forgoten the name. They were delicious stir fried in sesame oil with a little garlic, soy sauce, ginger & rice vinegar, over noodles with a few slices of rare beef. Probably should've put some salt pork in them too... next time.

Edited by viva (log)

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I do rainbow chard I just cut the stalks very thin and start them in boiling water, when they are tender I add the chopped leaves until they are wilted then I drain it all and sautee for a min with garlic in olive oil. Really good with pasta and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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  • 9 months later...

I love collard greens and when I make them, I simmer them with hamhocks, a little bit of diced onion, cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, a bit of sugar, salt & pepper.

Delicious!

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I love to cook a mixture of southern greens with pork, beer, and a touch of molasses. Emeril has some great recipes with those ingredients.

I can't eat greens without a stack of hot water cornbread. Good Eats.

-Becca

www.porterhouse.typepad.com

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I love to cook a mixture of southern greens with pork, beer, and a touch of molasses. Emeril has some great recipes with those ingredients.

I can't eat greens without a stack of hot water cornbread. Good Eats.

Now, BEER---I'd never have thought of that. We're off in a minute to get a few things from the store, including a potroast for tonight. Last week I cooked two bags of the already-cut turnip greens for supper---they were out of collards, our usual choice. The greens were excellent, with some smoked pork chops and homemade wasptail sauce, but today I'm buying FOUR bags.

By the time they cooked down low, and I parcelled out a little Tupperware to DS#2 for his own supper (my dear DIL doesn't like greens, but that's her ONLY flaw :wub: ) there was just enough for the three of us at home to have a good-sized serving. The cup or so of leftover pot likker was a dandy soup next day for my lunch, heated up with a wedge of the Mexicorn/jalapeno cornbread. I sipped it out of a big mug between bites of the bread and some cold grape tomatoes.

The strong, warm bittery juice and the rich bread and the "POP" of each little burst of Summery tomato---memorable.

Edited by racheld (log)
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Mustard Greesn, Turnip Greens, Swiss Chard, anything. I cook most fairly quickly and use a touch of butter and a little vinegar to bring out the taste, since I don't eat much meat.

With Swiss Chard, I use the stems steamed with olive oil and a little lemon on them. Sometimes I chopn them and drop them into vegetable stews, or soups. I just can't bear to toss em.

Blog.liedel.org

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