It’s not unusual for my husband to look at the salad that I’m making for dinner and ask if we’re having company. My version of a dinner salad is enough for a dinner party. As the nightly temperatures begin to drop, I turn from crunchy, quenching lettuces to the heartier greens. Escarole, bitter greens, Kale (and I hear it makes a great soup!) and my new favorite, Brussels Sprouts Tops.
My go to prep for all these gorgeous greens is basic and simple:
Using cold water, I’ll rinse off each stalk, put it in a large bowl and cover the whole lot with water. If you’re cooking kale, the stems can be tough and woody, so now is a fine time to remove them. Easier to handle when they’re done with their bath.
While they’re soaking, I’ll crush a few cloves of garlic. Don’t be shy…
I have a larger cast iron pan with a lid that I use daily, and it’s especially good for this.
A glug of your oil of choice into the pan (I lean towards olive oil, but canola is great, and peanut oil is
Into the oil goes the garlic, and a filet or two of anchovies. Keep the heat low to medium, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, softened and the anchovies are melted. Stir to combine.
Meanwhile, lift the greens out of their water and give them a squeeze with a dry towel. (Lifting the greens out of the water is key. If you pour the water out, any bits of dirt or sand may land back on the leaves.)
I roll the leaves up like a big cigar, and run a sharp knife through, cutting them into ribbons. Right into the pan , stirring to coat with oil, garlic, anchovy goodness. They will spatter and sputter when the greens and water droplets hit, so be careful!
Keep adding and stirring until the whole mess of greens is in the pan. Add a couple of tablespoons of water (or stock), stir to coat, reduce the heat, and add a lid. Depending on the greens, you’ll only need a few minutes till they’re ready for your plate. A sprinkle of crushed red pepper, or a spoonful of chili crisp adds some zing. Leftovers…if any…heat up beautifully and are a great addition to your morning eggs, or to enhance a soup that needs some extra love.
written by : Maryjane Mojer