Sunday, March 20, 2011

Collard Greens with Bacon and Apple Cider Vinegar

Shown Here with Stuffed Pork Chops

After posting a Giada recipe for Spicy Parmesan Green Beens and Kale, our friend Kurt send me this recipe from Simply Recipes, for Beet Greens.  You can also substitute Kale or Collard Greens, and since the supermarket had slim pickings, Collard Greens was my choice by default.  

When I initially tasted this, I wasn't a fan of how sweet it was (1 tablespoon of white sugar seems like a lot, especially for a dish with greens), however when paired with Stuffed Pork Chops, the sweetness was a perfect compliment to the apple stuffing.  Mike gave this one a big reception, which is rare, so I highly recommend.  In addition to the original ingredients, I added some fresh shredded parmesan.  Simply because cheese makes everything taste better.

Serves 4
1 pound beet greens (or in this case, collard greens)
1 strip of thick bacon, chopped (or a tablespoon of bacon fat)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup of water
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used a little extra to cut the sweetness)
1/6 cup of cider vinegar
(Optional) Approx 3 Tbsp fresh grated Parmesan

1/ Wash the greens in a sink filled with cold water.  Drain greens and wash a second time.  Drain greens and cut away any heavy stems.  Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.

2/ In a large skillet or 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned on medium heat (or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat.)  Add onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occassionally, until onions soften and start to brown.  Stir in garlic.  Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan.  Stir in sugar and red pepper.  Bring mixture to a boil.

3/ Add the beet greens, gently toss in the onion mixture so the greens are well coated.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes until the greens are tender (I suggest treading towards less cooking time, so the greens don't wilt and turn brown).  

Stir in vinegar.  (For kale or collard greens continue cooking additional 20-25 minutes or until desired tenderness.)  Add optional parmesan right before serving.

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