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Lesson in Greens


Varmint
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Thank you so much for participating in this outstanding Q&A, Ms. White. I'm glad that the members here are loading you up with great questions about soul food, which is very near and dear to my heart.

When I venture through the various farmers markets here in North Carolina, I love the variety of greens that are offered. Mustard greens, collards, turnip greens, beet greens, and more. This may be a question more appropriate for our online cooking class, but I'd love to hear your thoughts about the varieties of greens, what you like to serve them with, methods of cooking, and your favorites. All greens are not alike, and we really need to learn how to cook them (and serve them) based on their unique flavors.

Thanks!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Hi Varmint,

Nice to meet someone who loves green as much as I do. As I said in an earlier post, I do eat greens everyday. Well, almost. And thankfully, the farmers markets here in NYC have a huge variety, plus I can always scoot down to Chinatown and find a bumper supply of Asian greens.

I buy all kind of greens, with my favorites in this order: collards, mustard, turnips, kale, bok choy, broccoli rape, Swiss chard, dandelion, and during the spring, wild spinach.

I always cook a bunch of greens in a cup or so of water brought to a boil with lots of chopped garlic and hot chile pepper, a generous dash of extra virgin olive oil, and then extra seasoning, depending on the green. But if the green is real tender, like bok choy, I often just saute for a few briefly, and then cover the pot and steam for a few moments.

I may add a dash of cider or balsamic vinegar to collard and mustard greens; perhaps a teaspoon or so of crushed coriander seeds to the intense flavored greens such as Swiss chard or dandelion; or perhaps, a little honey mixed with lemon juice, or if I have it on hand, a spoonful of lemon confit.

I like greens such as broccoli rape and kale just loaded with garlic and hot chile peppers. And I cook the greens until just tender; not for hours. Enjoy; I do.

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One of my favorite ways of doing greens is to fry up a small amount of pre-chopped bacon on the side as the greens are cooking down then at the last minute pour the bacon, and some of the fat over the greens and serve. You will need to add a little salt, but not much else. Them's good eatin.

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