January 25, 2009

garlicky greens

People often say that food is the stuff of which memories are made. Many, many gatherings, both of family and friends revolve around food or involve food in some way. Folks reminisce about family Thanksgiving feasts, Christmas suppers or Easter dinners. But it's funny what can trigger your memory.

As long as I've been living on my own I've been cooking my greens, especially spinach with lots of garlic. That's how Mom used to cook spinach, and after the atrocious cafeteria food I wanted foods that were familiar. When I was little, fixing spinach with Mom, she used to tell me how her mother used to cook the spinach with a few whole cloves of garlic in an attempt to get Mom and my uncle to eat the spinach, but Mom and Ken used to fight over who would get the garlic, and still avoid eating the spinach. After that, for the sake of familial consistency, I cooked my spinach with garlic.

Now, I fix greens every week to carry to work with me. Spinach, swiss or red chard and collards. Lots of vitamins and fiber. As I was rolling and cutting my collards into ribbons to saute I remembered, as I often do, my late uncle Ken who taught me to cut leafy vegetables this way. I remember standing with him in out kitchen on one of his rare visits and learning to chop basil for pasta sauce. He lined all the leaves up and rolled them into a tight tube, this way he was able to easily hold the roll while slicing ribbons. More importantly, it was much easier me, with my small hands, to hold the vegetables and help in the kitchen.

After thinking of my uncle, who passed away in 2003, I knew exactly how I had to cook my collards. Chopped to ribbons and with lots of garlic. This makes a great side for any dish, a bed for fish or chicken, as well as great mix-in for soup.

Garlicky Greens

1 bunch collard greens (or any other type of greens)
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt
Wash and drip-dry the collards. Peel and mince the garlic. Place a large skillet on the stove and add olive oil and garlic. Turn on heat as low as possible. While oil and garlic are heating cut the greens in ribbons: taking 3 or 4 leaves at a time, cut off the bare length of stem, laying the leaves on top of each other, fold and roll the leaves, parallel to the stem. Holding the roll of leaves cut thin ribbons from the roll, either in a straight line of on an angle, in relation to the stem. As the leaves are cut, add them to the skillet, stirring each time. When all the greens have been added to the skillet, mix everything well and turn the heat up. Continue stirring until the greens are all bright green.

2 comments:

Simply...Gluten-free said...

Yum, I love garlic with dark greens! Thanks for sharing.

Gluti Girl said...

Have you tried beet greens? I am allergic to spinach and had been searching for something similar when I tried beet greens this week. They are wonderful!