There is plenty to enjoy this week as you work your way through another delicious box. Lots of greens are testament to the late summer cool weather we’ve had.
Braising Greens (including, collards, chard, kale, mustard)
Tomatoes (either cherry or heirloom)
I don’t know about you, but my fridge is beginning to be packed with extras from weeks past. I usually eat up what is most perishable first and leave some things that have storage potential for later. This has encouraged the accumulation of certain things in my crisper drawer. I really like to make a large pot of soup when I have a variety of veg that I just can’t seem to get onto the table in any other way. My kids have become increasingly picky eaters and will pick out large chunks of things that they find undesirable. I have begun making smaller cuts to have a more uniform soup that is harder to pick apart. The result is rewarding. Its prettier and the kids eat it all! I always start with onions, carrots and celery. Last night I added ground beef and cut it into chunks (this was the only chunky thing in the soup) with the spoon. Garlic, black pepper and a little bit of salt. Then cabbage, green beans, eggplant, herbs. I like to grind up my tomatoes in a blender before adding them to soup so I don’t get the skins floating on the top and the bitter seeds in the soup. I added three blended tomatoes, water, barley and a spoonful of Better than Bouillon (the secret ingredient to making quick and yummy soups). I left on an errand for an hour, and presto! Quick and delicious soup that everyone ate.
Now for the braising greens. What is braising?! It is using dry and hot heat followed by wet and low heat to cook something. In this case you will be braising your greens. I really like to start with either bacon or butter or both (sorry vegans! You could also use olive oil or peanut or raw sesame). Add onions, this is the dry part. Make sure those onions get coated in fat and become translucent, give them a little color. Add black pepper. Use lots of fat, that is the flavor for this dish. Now, while that is cooking, run a knife through your greens and wash them. Extract your greens from the water and put them WET into the pot (oh, this needs to be a pot, not a pan). Reduce the heat and stir to coat greens in fat and onion mixture. Cover to wilt greens, uncover and stir. Let cook for 30-45-60 minutes (depending on greens used and preference, collards take the longest to cook), add salt and pepper to taste.
This is a great way to use up an abundance of greens at once. Since they will cook down, add two or more bunches to your large stew pot. You will be surprised at how many greens you can eat!!