When the weather takes on a chill, take advantage of the garden bounty of autumn greens. Read the story in today’s LENS, then try these recipes.
By adding a bit more meat and cheese, you can turn Alabama chef Frank Stitt’s collard gratin into a main dish. I found that a 1-pound bag of pre-washed collards worked perfectly; canned beans would also taste fine and save time.
• 1 pound collard greens, stems and tough ribs removed
• 5 garlic cloves, 1 crushed and 4 chopped
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 3 cups cooked white beans, 1/2 cup cooking liquid reserved
• 1/2 cup (plus more, if desired) diced or chopped cooked ham-hock meat, sausage, chorizo or bacon
• 1/3 cup (plus more, if desired) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
• Salt and pepper
• 1/2 cup (plus more, as needed) medium-coarse fresh bread crumbs
In a large pot, cover the collards with salted water and boil over medium heat until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well and chop into small pieces. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Vigorously rub the inside of a 10- or 12- inch gratin dish with the crushed garlic. Discard the crushed garlic and set the dish aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until tender, about eight minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the collard greens, stir to coat, and cook for one minute. Transfer to a large bowl.
Stir in the beans, meat, roughly half the Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture seems too dry, add enough of the reserved bean cooking liquid to moisten. (If you don’t have liquid, use water.) Spread the mixture in the prepared dish. Top with the bread crumbs and remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Drizzle with remaining olive oil.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the filling is hot and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top of the gratin is golden and crusty, another 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes six servings.
Adapted from “The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook”
Autumn Turnips with Indian Spices
In her new cookbook, “Whole Grains for a New Generation,” author Liana Krissoff offers this aromatic green rice made from pureed turnip greens, turnip root, carrot and brown basmati. As a time saver, Krissoff suggests using frozen spinach in place of the pureed turnips, and though the ice-water bath ensures that the blanched turnips don’t turn to mush, you could easily omit that step. Just don’t over-boil or over-stir the saute. If turnips are too bitter for you, Krissoff says to consider collards or kale paired with sweet potato or cauliflower. Don’t have brown basmati? Use any rice of choice.
• 2 medium turnips, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
• 1 large carrot, peeled and diced (about 1/2 cup)
• 5 packed cups chopped turnip greens (about 8 ounces)
• 1 hot green chile, seeded and chopped (optional)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 onion, diced
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
• 3 cups cooked brown basmati rice (or other rice of your choice)
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the turnips and carrot; return to a boil and cook until just barely tender, about four minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the ice water to cool. Add the turnip greens to the boiling water, shoving them down into the water as they wilt. Cook until the stems are tender, about eight minutes, then pour into a sieve to drain. Put the greens in a food processor with the chile and a splash of water (up to about 1/4 cup) and puree until smooth. Set the blanched vegetables and pureed greens aside.
In a large deep saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about five minutes. Add the ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir for 30 seconds. Add the blanched turnips and carrot and stir to coat them with the onion-spice mixture. Add the greens puree and stir until evenly incorporated. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the turnips and carrot are tender, about five minutes, uncovering the pan at the end to let excess moisture evaporate. Gently fold in the rice and cook to just heat through, about two minutes. Serve.
Makes four servings.
Adapted from “Whole Grains for a New Generation” by Liana Krissoff