Sunday, October 17, 2010

RECIPE: Sweet and Savory Greens (with Raisins and Nuts)

Here is the recipe that Chef Margaret made for us at the site a few weeks ago.

Serves 4-6

This recipe is great because of its surprising combination of textures and of sweet and savory flavors. The crunch of the nuts, the chewy sweetness of the raisins, and the subtle heat of the hot pepper flakes keep your mouth tingling.

You can use collards, kale, chard (red chard adds a pretty color), spinach or other greens or any combination of greens for this dish, just keep in mind that they have different cooking times. Collards take longer than kale which takes longer than chard which takes longer than spinach to cook. If you use the stems, they take longer to cook than the leafy part of the greens. Take this into consideration when cooking. For example start cooking stems a minute or two before leaves and start cooking collards a minute or two before kale, and kale a minute before chard, and chard a minute before spinach. Also, younger greens are more tender and take less time to cook than mature greens . These greens are very good tossed with brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped small.
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 pound of greens (usually about one bunch)
¼ cup of sliced, toasted almonds (or toasted pine nuts)
Salt, to taste
black pepper (preferably fresh ground), to taste

Add olive oil to a hot frying pan. Add minced garlic, red bell pepper, a pinch of salt, raisins, and hot pepper flakes to the oil and cook over low heat until soft (do not brown). Stir in the greens, tossing to coat the leaves, and cook until done (according to your taste). I like them to be soft but still have some of their fresh green color. Stir nuts in or sprinkle on top (for a pretty presentation). Add salt and pepper to taste.

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