Greens recipe - by Don Cross
- 2 lb fresh greens (collards, kale, and/or mustard)
- 3 slices bacon (center cut is best)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (canola, etc)
- 1 2/3 cup water
- 2-3 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Combine water, vinegars (both kinds) and brown sugar
in a Pyrex measuring cup. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Slice bacon crosswise into 1"×¼" slices.
Place vegetable oil in large stainless steel pot with medium
low heat. Add bacon slices.
(Pot should be large enough to hold all the fresh greens.
Though they will cook down to much smaller size, first you will need
to stir them without throwing them out of the pot!)
Stir bacon until it starts to turn crispy and brown.
We want to render the fat but not make the bacon too crispy or toasted.
When bacon is ready, put all of the greens into the pot
and raise the heat to medium high.
Stir thoroughly and frequently! Don't leave unattended because
it is very easy to burn the greens at this point.
Note the strong vegetative smell emitted.
Cook uncovered to allow these vapors to escape.
Continue stirring greens in uncovered pot until they reduce to about
a fifth of their original size. The color will turn to a
luscious dark green. At this point you may optionally add
a couple tablespoons of the liquid mixture from step 1,
especially if your batch of greens is on the dry side.
Reduce to medium low heat.
Continue cooking and stirring until the color turns a more
gray/green shade and the vegetative smell mentioned in step 6
has greatly diminished. This may take 10 or 15 minutes.
Add all of the liquid from step 1. Raise to high heat until just starting to boil.
Now is when we finally cover the greens (since the stinky vapor has
mostly cooked out). Cover and reduce to very low simmer heat.
Set a timer to repeat every 10 minutes.
Each time the timer goes off, uncover, stir thoroughly, and re-cover.
This is very important to prevent burning, and to evenly cook the greens.
If greens are exceptionally dry, you may need to add a couple tablespoons
of water only every now and then. There should be a small
amount of liquid at the bottom of the greens at all times.
Continue simmering 40 to 50 minutes or until both leaves and stems are tender.
For best taste, cook the day before serving, and refrigerate overnight.
Keep that liquid with the greens — it has lots of vitamins,
and the remaining vinegar counteracts the bitterness of the greens.