with winter greens and bacon.
too often, winter greens get a bad rap. They’re considered
overly assertive and aggressive. The word "bitter"
gets thrown around a lot. But treated properly, the greens
can add a wonderful, even lively, dimension to a recipe.
Which is why they’re so common in so many cuisines, such
as the New Year’s staple of slow-cooked greens and
black-eyed peas in the South, Chinese mustard greens quickly
stir-fried with a touch of garlic and hot pepper, or
slow-braised German cabbage. Consider winter greens as you
might a relationship: Get to know them, treat them right and
the rewards will be long-lasting.
winter greens raw or cooked, depending on the variety and
your tastes. Use small, tender leaves as a raw garnish or
salad base. If the leaves are larger, or even the slightest
bit tough, as with kale, massage them with a little
vinaigrette or oil and salt; the rubbing tenderizes the
leaves, as with cooking, and mutes their dominant notes. And
if you’ve grown weary of kale lately, just think beyond
smoothies and kale chips — the stuff is incredibly
winter greens adapt particularly well to grilling or
charring. Halve or quarter a head of endive or escarole and
throw it on the grill; the direct heat quickly caramelizes
the leaves to bring out the vegetables’ sweetness. Some
greens, such as chard or spigarello — a relative of the
broccoli family often found in Italian cooking — can be
quickly wilted or sauteed, or even added at the last minute
to a soup or stew, lending bright color and only mildly
aggressive flavor. Other varieties, such as mustards and
older or larger-leafed vegetables, benefit from low and slow
cooking, their peppery notes and tougher textures yielding
find that many recipes call for separating the leaves from
their thick stems before cooking. Fibrous stems break down
more slowly than the more delicate leaves, which is why many
preparations involve cooking the stems first, then adding
the greens toward the end of the recipe.
the toughest winter greens require delicate care, and you’ll
want to use them within a day or so after bringing them
home. Look for leaves that are crisp and vibrant and store
the greens, unwashed and refrigerated in a plastic bag
before using. Wash the greens well right before preparing,
to get rid of any dirt or pests in the nooks and crannies.
next time you bring home a bunch of colorful beets or turnip
roots, save the tops. Consider cooking them or adding them
to a salad — or more — for flavor and nutrients. And
with the current focus on combating food waste, you might
even feel virtuous — deservedly so.
WITH SPIGARELLO, BACON AND GARLIC
minutes. Serves 6 to 8
pound bucatini or linguini pasta
tablespoons vegetable oil
tablespoon olive oil
slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch
cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
(1-pound) bunch spigarello (or other winter greens such as
escarole, kale or chard, trimmed and torn into 3- to 4-inch
and freshly ground black pepper
lemon juice, for serving
or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the vegetable oil
and cook the pasta to al dente following the manufacturer’s
instructions. Drain the pasta, spreading it out onto a
rimmed baking sheet, set aside while preparing the rest of
the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the
bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is
crisp and the fat is rendered. Strain the bacon from the fat
in the pan, and drain the excess fat, leaving only 3
tablespoons fat in the pot. Stir in the garlic, then the
greens, a handful at a time. Continue stirring until all of
the greens have been added and are wilted.
Stir the bacon back in with the greens, then the pasta,
tossing to evenly combine the pasta and flavorings. Season
with a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.
Divide the pasta among warmed shallow bowls, topping each
portion with a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish each plate
with Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately.
OF 8 SERVINGS, WITHOUT GARNISH
fat 4 g
PIES WITH MUSTARD GREENS AND SPANISH CHORIZO
hour, 20 minutes, plus chilling time. Makes 12 pies
cups (19.2 ounces) flour
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning the filling
cup cold shortening
(2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
teaspoons cider vinegar
12 tablespoons ice water, more if needed
(1-pound) bunch mustard greens, trimmed and washed
tablespoons olive oil, divided
onion, finely diced
cloves garlic, finely minced
ounces Spanish chorizo, diced
cup dry white wine
large boiling potato, cut into 1/4-inch dice (peeled or
chicken broth, divided
cups grated Manchego cheese
Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour,
salt and sugar. Add the shortening and incorporate using a
pastry cutter or fork (the dough will look like moist sand).
Cut in the butter just until it is reduced to pea-sized
pieces. Sprinkle the vinegar and 8 tablespoons water over
the mixture, and stir together until the ingredients are
combined to form a dough. Remove the dough to a lightly
floured surface and knead a few times until it comes
together in a single mass. If the dough is too crumbly and
dry, gently work in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a
time. Mold the dough into a disk roughly 8 inches in
diameter. Cover the disk tightly with plastic wrap and
refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the greens
to the water and boil until they’re tender, 12 to 15
minutes. Drain the greens, then shock in a bowl of ice water
to stop the cooking process. Drain again and run through a
salad spinner to remove any excess water. Chop the greens
coarsely and set aside.
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add
2 tablespoons olive oil, then the onion, and cook, stirring
frequently, until the onion is softened and translucent, 6
to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic,
about 1 minute. Stir in the chorizo and cook until it is
lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and
simmer, stirring to scrape any flavoring from the bottom of
the pan, until the wine is almost completely evaporated or
absorbed. Remove from heat and spoon the filling into a
the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil
over medium-high heat. Add the potato and cook, stirring
frequently, until it just begins to brown. Stir in 1/2 cup
broth. Cover the pan and steam the potato until the pieces
are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the greens and remaining broth and cook, stirring
frequently, until the broth and any liquid from the greens
are almost completely absorbed, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from
heat. Stir the potatoes and greens in with the chorizo
mixture. Stir in the cheese. Cover the bowl and refrigerate
the filling until it is chilled, about 1 hour.
Divide the prepared pie dough into 12 even pieces, about 3
ounces each, and shape each into a small disk. On a lightly
floured board, carefully roll each piece into a circle about
6 inches in diameter and about one-eighth-inch thick. The
dough will be flaky and will probably crack on the edges;
without working the dough too much, gently mold the dough
with your hands as it’s rolled to form as perfect a circle
as possible. Carefully set the circle aside and continue
rolling until all of the circles are formed.
Assemble the hand pies: Brush the inside of each circle with
a very light coating of beaten egg, brushing all the way to
the edge of the circle. Place roughly one-fourth cup of the
filling in the center of each circle, slightly off to one
side (to make it easier to fold over the dough to form the
hand pie), but leaving a 1-inch border around the edge on
one side. Carefully — this can be tricky — fold over
half of the dough, lining up the edges to form a
half-circle; you may need to support the dough as it’s
folded over to keep it from cracking. Gently press down the
edges to seal the pie. Trim the edges to clean them up, or
gently brush the top of the edge of each pie, then fold the
edge in again for a cleaner-looking side. Continue until all
of the pies are formed.
Place the prepared pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet
and refrigerate them, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile,
heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the chilled pies and brush them with the egg wash.
Use a small knife to slash 2 to 3 small steam vents in the
top of each pie.
Bake the pies on the center rack until the pastry is puffed
and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Rotate the pies halfway
through baking for even coloring. Cool on a rack. The pies
can be served warm or at room temperature.
minutes. Serves 6
cup olive oil, divided
small onion, diced
cloves garlic, 1 minced, 1 smashed, divided
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
teaspoon smoked paprika
pepper, cut into matchsticks
sprig thyme, plus leaves from 3 sprigs thyme, divided
canned plum tomatoes, plus juices
bunches Swiss chard, center ribs removed
cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, divided
dried oregano, divided
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
Sweat the onion, minced garlic, red pepper flakes and
paprika for 3 minutes. Stir in the peppers, thyme and
rosemary sprigs and continue to cook for 5 minutes to marry
the flavors. Add the tomatoes, sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt and
several grinds of pepper, and simmer until the peppers are
soft and the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes (try to
leave the tomatoes intact).
When the tomato mixture is almost ready, cook the chard: In
a large cast-iron skillet heated over medium-high heat, melt
the butter along with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add
the smashed garlic, Swiss chard, a generous 1/4 teaspoon
salt and several grinds of pepper and saute until the chard
is wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove and discard the rosemary
and thyme sprigs from the tomato mixture, then spoon it over
the cooked chard. Make 6 little indentations and break the
eggs into them. Sprinkle over half of the thyme, parsley and
tarragon leaves, as well as half of the oregano.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the yolks are
just set, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle over the remaining herbs
and serve immediately.
Adapted from a recipe in "V Is for Vegetables" by
OF BEET GREENS WITH WALNUTS
time: 20 minutes | Serves 4
tablespoons Dijon mustard
tablespoons sherry vinegar
cup walnut oil
and freshly ground pepper
beet greens (from about two bunches), cleaned
cup creme fraiche
tablespoons chopped chives
tablespoons chopped tarragon
shallots, very thinly sliced
toasted walnut halves
a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oil, a
heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.
Place the beet greens in a large bowl and pour over 1 to 2
tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Massage the vinaigrette into
the greens. As the greens soften, they will shrink in volume
and darken in color. Set aside.
the remaining vinaigrette, whisk in the creme fraiche,
chives and tarragon. This makes about 1 cup dressing, more
than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the dressing
will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days.
Toss the greens with the shallots, along with 3 more
tablespoons of the dressing, or enough to lightly coat the
greens. Arrange the salad on a serving platter and garnish
with the toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.
fat 3 g
ENDIVE WITH BALSAMIC AND SHAVED PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO
minutes. Serves 2 to 4
heads endive, halved or quartered lengthwise
2 to 4
tablespoons best balsamic vinegar or vin cotto, or as
curls of Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
salt, for garnish
grill or cast iron pan over high heat until hot. Meanwhile,
brush the endive pieces all over with a very light coating
of oil. Char the pieces on all sides, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve
the pieces drizzled with a little balsamic and curls of
shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, as well as a sprinkling of