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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spicy Garlic Greens


Hi all! It's been quite a long time since my last post, which means plenty of breakfasts, dinners and delectable desserts have crossed through my kitchen. I have to apologize for my absence. Starting your own business can certainly eat up any free time you thought you had. Geesh. Anyway, to get us started again I have a recipe for a simple meal. It's easy, it's delicious and it's even good for you!

I developed this recipe one morning when my fridge seemed to be overflowing with a multitude of green things. It looked as though we'd been grocery shopping with 4 or 5 shots of vodka behind us and a healthy addiction for the color green. Collard greens, spinach, asparagus, broccoli ... all of it just reached up and whispered, "eat me before you forget I'm in here!" I sighed and reached for the produce and some garlic. Luckily, my improved cooking rewarded me with a tasty meal.

I know what you are thinking. You know you should eat more greens, but you don't like them. Yet, while most people usually make faces of disgust when confronted with cooked greens (or greens of any type!), I'm imploring you to take another look! Far from being bitter or bland, these greens are lent a subtle flavor from the olive oil and a savory taste with the cayenne pepper and garlic. They'll leave you wondering why you never tried this before

I have found that greens can be comfort food, a filling breakfast, or even accompany a dinner meat dish. This recipe goes well with just about anything. My current favorite way to enjoy this dish is topped with a sliced hard boiled egg and a little shaved Romano cheese. What a delicious (and simple!) breakfast!

With any recipe (like this one) relying heavily on the taste of the ingredients, you will want to start with the freshest and highest quality ingredients you can find.

Spicy Garlic Greens
Serves 1-2

What You'll Need:
A small skillet

Ingredients:
1 handful Collard Greens (about 4 large leaves, with stems)
1 handful Spinach
4-5 stalks fresh Asparagus (or 2-3 florets fresh Broccoli), roughly chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 tsp cayenne pepper, ground
1 tsp (approximate) freshly ground Black Pepper
A dash of sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

What You'll Do:
Over a medium-low heat, combine the olive oil and garlic. Add in spices and asparagus and stir. Make sure to watch the garlic so that it does not brown, simply stir occasionally to stop this.

Meanwhile, take your collard greens and remove the stems from the leaf. Chop stems roughly and add into the heated mixture. Stir to coat. Cook on medium-low for 2-3 minutes.

Chop collard leaves and spinach into ribbons. Add them to the prepared mixture and stir to coat with oil mixture. Continue cooking until leaves slightly darken in intensity and slightly wilt. Remove from heat immediately and serve.

If you are sensitive to spice, simply substitute the cayenne pepper for paprika. Additionally, you may substitute any vegetable for the asparagus. Broccoli works extremely well, as does cauliflower. If you wish, you could also leave out the other vegetable and just increase the amount of greens. It's up to you!

Great serving ideas:
  • Top with a handful of grated Parmesan or Jarlsberg cheese.
  • Just before removing from heat, scramble in an egg.
  • Add sliced chicken breast.
  • Top with a hard boiled egg and Romano cheese.

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