So many people I have told me, I don’t like greens. My typical response is, you probably haven’t had them prepared correctly. Greens, the leafy part of plants such as turnips, mustards, kale and collards, and other green vegetables such as green beans, brussel sprouts and lima beans sometimes get a bad reputation because they are not seasoned correctly or cooked to near mush. They are much like their underground friends, the root vegetable we posted about recently. When cooked correctly, they are the shining jewels of a summer garden. For seasoning of these lovely green veggies, the secret to scrumptiousness is … wait for it … bacon! The key is cooking the bacon a bit BEFORE adding the vegetables to the pot. You can drop the bacon in once your veggies are simmering in water, but you won’t get as savory of a bacon flavor to compliment the strong flavor of most greens.
If you are cooking fresh leafy greens – strip the leaves off the stems which are tough. Discard the stems. Blanche the leaves in boiling water for 3 minutes, take them out and quickly dunk them in a bowl of ice water. Drain, chop and follow the steps below to cook them up to perfection. The blanching process will help remove any bitterness that fresh greens tend to have especially if they are picked in the warmer months. The best and sweetest greens are grown in the colder months.
Do you have your own secret to glorious greens? Please share in the comments below!