Braised greens three ways

We’re eating more kale, more chard, even more beet tops, usually by hiding them in soups, stews and smoothies. Want your greens to sing on their own? Try braising. This is a simple no fail technique to keep the vibrant colours and flavours while softening the textures, without using glugs of oil. You could add some garlic, or toss with Sriracha or serve with goat cheese or creamy feta and some toasted walnuts.

Braised greens

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, kale, or beet tops or a mixture of all three
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • water as needed
  • sea or kosher salt
  • fresh-cracked black pepper

Separate leaves from stems. Cut off the bottom inch or so of the stems and discard. Chop stems in small, bite-sized pieces.

Immerse greens in a pot of cold water and swish around, then upend into a colander, or clean under running water. Coarsely chop — or leave whole if very small (leaves have a tendency to be sandy). Do not dry.

Pour olive oil into a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped stems, if using, and the greens. Cook the leaves, turning with tongs until wilted and about half their volume (about 5-10 minutes). Add more water if pan seems too dry. Season to taste and remove from the heat. Serve hot or cold.

With the Cheesiry’s pecorino

Top hot, braised greens with grated Cheesiry Aged Pecorino (or Parmigiano Reggiano).

With Irving’s bacon lardons

Greens love bacon and bacon loves greens. Lardons are the big chunks of bacon found in the French bistro classic frisée salad with lardons and poached egg, as opposed to lardoons which are similar to celery.

  • 1 pkg Irvings thick bacon (the package sold at the Italian centre will yield about 2 dozen lardons)

Cut the bacon into smallish cubes about the size of your thumbnail. Sauté over low-medium heat until they have lost most of their fat and are crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel and reserve (resist the urge to eat them all right out of the pan).

Toss with braised greens.