balsamic syrup, made by cooking down vinegar, helps
tame the bite of mustard greens.
farmer girl leaves early and comes home dirty. She brings
back the spare clump of radishes, the stray gourd and
bulging bags of mustard greens. A slight, dirt-streaked
Santa, she heaves her sacks onto the kitchen table: green
gifts to last all summer.
greens, in the raw, growl big and bitter. They take some
taming. Here on the homestead, we trim away the burly
backbones, blanch out the bitter and temper the leaves
tender. Glazed sweet and spicy, the greens crouch low in the
bowl and overflow with flavor.
much from the farm, they clean up nicely.
About 4 cups, serves 4
cup balsamic vinegar
bunches mustard greens (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
cup olive oil
cloves garlic, thinly sliced crosswise
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
slices (about 1 ounce total) prosciutto, cut crosswise into
Reduce: Pour balsamic into a small saucepan set over medium
heat. Reduce to a syrup, about 10 minutes. Pour into a glass
measuring cup to stop the cooking.
Blanch: Pull mustard greens off their stems and break the
leaves into pieces. (Discard stems.) Rinse in several
changes of cool water. Bring a large pot of salted water to
a boil. Drop in greens and stir until wilted and bright
green, about 1 minute. Drain. Rinse under cool water.
Crisp: Heat oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Scrape
in garlic, and cook until crisp and golden, 1-2 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a small bowl.
Toss: Add red pepper and wilted greens to the skillet, and
toss until glossy and hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2-3
teaspoons of the balsamic syrup, tossing to coat the greens.
Toss with prosciutto. Taste — you may want a bit of salt
or more syrup. Toss with reserved garlic. Serve hot or at