Cook’s Illustrated Braised Winter Greens

My mom bought a bunch of Kale and since we were having dinner at her house (this is why the photos look much nicer than they are in my tiny icky kitchen!), we decided to try out this recipe from the  Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook which I recently picked up (with some difficulty – it is HUGE) from the library.

Yummy sounding variation include frying bacon cripsy first, removing, and then using the fat to fry onions and greens in, then adding in the crumbled bacon.  This sounds like a Very Good Idea, which I will try in the future.  The original recipe also called for adding a few splashes of lemon juice with the broth but I forgot!  Probably would have been nice!

The stalks can be easily removed by folding the leaf in half and then cutting along the stem at an angle, so just the leaf is left.  I saved the kale stalks to use in stock tomorrow.

Braised Winter Greens
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
5 medium garlic cloves, mined or pressed (about 5 teaspoons)
kale or collard greens, ribs removed, leaves chopped into 3-inch pieces and rinsed (the book mentioned 24 loosely packed cups, but I think we had a lot less – anyway the method is more important than the measures)
2 cups vegetable broth (from a cube)
Ground black pepper

Chopped Kale with the stem removed, and the onion.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Sauteed onion and garlic, with half of the greens wilting in the pan.

Add half of greens and stir until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute.

Add remaining greens, broth, water and 1/4 teaspoon salt; quickly cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook, stirring occassionally, until greens are tender, 25 to 30 minutes for kale and 35 to 45 minutes for collards.

Wilted greens and onions, mixed in with the raw Kale and ready to simmer.

Remove lid and increase broth heat to medium-high.  Cook, stirring occassionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated (or, if the greens are tender enough you could drain off the liquid and save it for soup or stock – it is full of flavour), 8 to 12 minutes.  Remove pot from heat; season with salt and pepper and serve.

Fully cooked Kale – it loses some of its beautiful bright green colour, but is still delicious!

Result:  These were wonderful – I’d only cooked them once before and while we liked them, I didn’t know to cook them enough or to remove all of the stem, so our experience was pretty tough and chewy.  These were tender but still had some texture – a great way to make tough greens, now I want to try collard greens too as I’ve not had those!

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