Southern Greens Recipe
When many of us hear the words ‘cooked greens’, we typically steer clear. Maybe it is a northern thing, but cooked greens are actually very good, especially when done right.
Growing up, my worst nightmares at dinner could have possibly been green beans, canned cooked peas, and brussels sprouts. To this day, they are all of my favorites, with the exception that they are fresh or frozen. Cooked greens in my opinion though are known as things like collards, or kale, and typically trimmed, and cooked really well. The dark greens themselves are bitter. I will be honest, they are bitter, but they are loaded with great nutrients, and nutrients you just cannot get out of many other foods. Cooked greens are mean, they are feisty, and they inflicted fear when my kids saw them. There was no force in eating them, but they were offered when I recently cooked a great Brazilian dish. I am glad my kids were curious, and one day I know they will be eating and enjoying them as well.
- 1 bunch of kale, stalks removed and leaves chopped
- 3 slices of bacon, diced, and cooked
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp reserved bacon fat (see above bullet point)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 3 cups of boiling water
Begin by cooking your bacon, while at the same time trimming your kale.Â Toss your kale into the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. Strain the kale.
Once the bacon is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and reserve about one tablespoon of the bacon grease. Toss in the garlic, saute for a minute, add the stock, drained kale, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook down for about 7 minutes. Add the cooked bacon back in and give a good stir.
Plate and serve with your favorite comfort food. Lightly bitter, and lightly salted vinegar, the cooked greens really makes it worth every bite. I know there is spinach, but thank God for ‘Popeye the sailor man’. Greens make you feel healthy, and this one is no exception.
This looks wonderful. All Southerners love greens especially cooked in some pork fat. A teaspoon or so of sugar will help with the bitterness ( according to my granny). I’ll be whipping up some of these real soon!
When boiling Greens (except for Polk Salat) getting rid of the water, looses much of the goodness(nutrients). For Collards,I do it much as you described but I add a little sugar (as granny told me) and cook almost all the water out and that leaves the “pot Likker”. Yummy with CornBread and greens are a must have for New Years Day “for the greenbacks”.
Now Polk Salat is my favorite green and cooking that is a whole other kettle of fish. Wash, Wash, parboil – rinse,new water- boil – rinse,strain. Into the skillet with Bacon Grease and fry – add some salt and a cut up hard boiled egg on top – Granny’s favorite.