Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Greens as the main course? Why not?

By JULIAN BRUNT/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD

Take your time and greens can be a thing of wonder.
Take your time and greens can be a thing of wonder.

This is the last blog entry in our week focusing on side dishes that can be presented as the main entre.

Let's just go over this one more time. If you take your time, use good ingredients, a healthy, delicious side dish can become the main course. Why not?

This last recipe we will focus on greens -- collards, kale or turnip greens can be about as delicious as you can get, with a little care. I like them so much I often serve them wrapped up in soft tortillas. Again, why not? 

The key to making great greens is in the stock, which should be simmered and made complex, and rich, never just throw your greens into unseasoned water or chicken stock. Take a few extra minutes, and greens become something bordering on divine.

GREENS IN STOCK

1-2 bunches greens, well-stemmed

1 cup chopped, smoked ham

2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed

1/2 cup roughly chopped onion

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red pepper flakes

2-3 cups homemade chicken stock

1/4 cup vinegar

Sauté the ham in hot oil until well-browned. Add the onions, and cook for 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the chicken stock and season aggressively. Now simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add the greens a handful at a time until wilted and simmer until almost done, add the vinegar and continue cooking until tender. Serve warm.

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