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Greens: Spinach, Kale, chard, endive, and chicory

There are two basic ways of cooking greens if you are going to eat them as a side dish.

How to Braise Your Greens:

One of the simplest ways to cook greens, which works best for sweet, tender greens like spinach and chard, is to braise them:

  1. Wash them and tear into smaller pieces.
  2. Set them in a colander to drain.
  3. Mince a clove of garlic. Slowly cook (do not brown) the garlic in a tablespoon or two of olive oil; when it has changed color, add the greens & mix well.
  4. Cover and braise on slow heat until done (10-15 minutes or so). Add some salt & pepper if you wish. 

The vegetables come out almost creamy. Divine!


How to Blanche Your Greens:

This second technique works well for all vegetables.

  1. Wash them well, drop them in a pan of boiling water. Cook them until almost done; cooking time varies, so taste them to see.
  2. When almost done, take your vegetables out of the water, run cold water over them to stop the cooking and squeeze them dry. Reserve some of the cooking water.
  3. When greens are cool, cut them or tear them into smaller pieces.

You can later either:

1. Serve them at room temperature with just a drizzle of good olive oil and perhaps a little bit of lemon juice.

2. Mince a clove or so of garlic. Cook it briefly in some olive oil. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Add greens. Add some of the water. Cook on med-high heat for 3-4 minutes until the water is mostly evaporated and the flavors all amalgamated.

3. Make Creamy Pasta with Blanched Greens. This one is a favorite of ours. We make it every Christmas Eve.