In the past two weeks our friend Donny has given me and my husband two giant plastic bags of turnip greens from his garden. I now have what my grandmother would have called "a whole passel of greens." Translation: a whole lot of greens.
I’m determined to cook as many of these greens as possible, but, even though I am a Southerner, I’m not crazy about the idea of eating cornbread and greens every night for two weeks. Fortunately, greens are quite versatile, so I’ve made some amazing dishes. The first is Sausage, Kale, and Bean Soup from Cooking Light. Yes, the recipe does call for chopped kale, but I just substituted turnip greens, which worked out great. I love this recipe because it’s sort of rustic and hearty, it only has 5 ingredients, and it cooks in less than 15 minutes. What’s not to like? I did enhance the recipe just a tiny bit by topping it with some fresh shaved Parmesan, and it was even better!
I also experimented with preparing the greens in the way that I had enjoyed them in a Brazilian restaurant a few years ago. Basically you just chop up the greens as thinly as you can, then sauté them (about 5 cups) in a skillet with olive oil and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the greens are crisp-tender. I really belive this is one of the best ways to eat turnip greens, and it’s so very different from the product you get when you cook them in a big pot with a lot of liquid. The sautéed greens make a tasty side dish on their own, but I made Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce and served the pork over the greens instead of noodles. The tangy mustard sauce really complemented the flavor of the greens.
Next on the menu: Turnip Greens Stew from Southern Living. I’ll definitely need some cornbread for that one. Would love to hear some other ideas about cooking up greens. With the economy being the way it is, I’m certainly not going to be throwing away any produce.