Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens or Collard Greens

Actually, this is kale. I bought a huge bag of it for Thanksgiving, but never got to make it due to total exhaustion. Saturday night I dug it out and made some for supper. Having worked for the past 18 years in a majority black environment, I have of course eaten greens, but I have never made them before. The directions are a little ambiguous. "Simmer just until greens are tender or cook for one hour or longer." Well, which is it?
For once, Hewlitt gives us some guidance in the form of a note which explains, presumably for the New Yorkers who read her column, the differences between the various types of greens eaten in the South. "In many Southern homes the greens are cooked for several hours before serving," she says.
Well, I didn't cook the greens for several hours, more like about 15 minutes. Kale is a lot like spinach. It keeps well, better than spinach, and we have been dipping into the bag all week to put in soup, spaghetti, and to eat plain with the salt pork.

Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens and Collard Greens

3 pounds mustard greens, turnip greens or collard greens
1 onion
1/2 pound salt pork
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Trim the greens and discard hard stems. Wash the greens in several changes of cold water. Put greens in a large pot. If the greens are young and tender, they may be cooked in the water that clings to their leaves. Or add two cups of water to the kettle. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
2. Simmer just until greens are tender or cook them one hour or longer. Traditionally the greens are served with corn bread. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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