Southern braised greens get a fresh and flavorful Mediterranean-inspired makeover for the new year!
Aren’t we all looking for a change this time of year? We’re all cleaning, organizing, changing our eating habits and trying to be better people, so let’s revamp a classic recipe, too!
Love me some braised greens, but my experience with “greens” before moving to the South amounted to sauteed spinach or Swiss chard seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic. I had only heard about Southern greens (turnip tops, mustard and collards), all of which get cooked for a crazy amount of time with a piece of smoked pork. Sounds amazing but heavy.
There’s certainly an art to cooking greens the Southern way and I would NOT want to get in the middle of two Southern cooks debating whose greens are better.
So… not even going to try to compete. Here are those same amazing, healthful classic Southern greens with a Mediterranean twist: Braised Greens with Olives and Lemon.
The salty bite of the olives and the bright acidity of lemon give turnip tops, collards and mustard greens a new attitude!
If you purchase bunches of greens for this dish, you’ll have to thoroughly clean them. Fill a sink full of cool water, immerse the greens, swish them around then let sit so dirt falls to the bottom of the sink. Remove the greens, drain the water, rinse the sink and repeat until you’re confident the greens are clean. This can take some doing. I did some kale for a client recently and it took four attempts to get all the sand off. For this recipe, I buy triple-washed bagged greens which make life a whole lot easier!
Keep in mind that as soon as you add any acid to a green vegetable–in this case the lemon juice–the beautiful bright green color turns army drab. However, acid makes the flavor pop!
Southern greens get a fresh and flavorful Mediterranean-inspired makeover!
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 bag (1-pound) mixed greens (turnip, collard and mustard)
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup pitted and halved green olives
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the greens and cook, 6-8 minutes or until wilted and slightly tender.
- Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice, olives and salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.