At all the Farmer Markets in Seattle you are seeing greens upon greens. Brian has been bringing home different ones every week. I so enjoy eating any kind of greens; actually I feel I crave them, but that is another blog entry. Anyway, last week Brian came home with collard greens and my mind wondered into all the ways I could prepare them. I wanted to add a bit of sweetness to them in order to counteract the bitterness of the leaves. I also wanted to brighten it up a bit with a bit of spice. By braising the collard greens with some onion, golden raisins, orange, and crushed red pepper there was such a balance of the flavors. I tossed them with chopped toasted walnuts to add a bit of texture upon serving.
I will admit that I could not stop eating them. They were delicious and I felt like with each bite I tasted the season of spring about to arrive. I served them with some roasted sun chokes and sautéed temphe, but I really think this would be perfect with a ham. Something that might complete your Easter dinner menu perhaps!?!
Braised Collard Greens with Raisins (feeds 4 +)
2 bunches of Collard Greens, washed well and chopped
½ onion, sliced thin
2 tsp of olive oil
1 cup of dry white wine
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 pinches of crushed red pepper
1/3 cup of golden raisins
kosher salt to taste
½ cup of toasted walnuts, chopped
First, in a large bowl wash your collard greens well. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and when warm place your olive oil in. Add in your onion and stir well. Cook your onions about 2 minutes before adding your greens. If your greens are still damp that is perfect. I give it a little stir and place a lid on the pan to wilt your greens (about 2 minutes).
Next; add in your white wine, ½ cup of water, your orange zest & juice, crushed red pepper, and raisins. Once again stir it well and replace your lid on the pan. Let it all simmer and braise together for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and season with the kosher salt. At this point the majority of your liquid should be cooked off, if not continue to simmer with the lid off. Cook until there is enough liquid to coat the bottom of your pot but no more.
Finally, remove from the heat and toss in your walnuts. Stir well and ready to serve. (Dish can be made ahead, but do not add the walnuts until you are ready to serve.)