This is from “Joy of Cooking”, “Vegetables Every Day” by Jack Bishop and my own experience trying to repair Greens’ bad reputation. Kale, Swiss Chard and other greens are truly superfoods. (the former are my favs but Beet, Dandelion and Collards are great as are other interesting things you can find at the farmers market. (Spinach is also good cooked this way, it just cooks faster.) Even if you use the bacon they are incredibly good for you and go with just about everything.
I will note that this always takes longer than I think it will and is a bit labor intensive. It’s worth it. Serves 2 – 4. Note that greens shrink A LOT.
1 -2 bunches greens of choice.
Oil of choice –I recommend olive, or ghee (clarified butter).
garlic or ginger and shallots, leeks, or onions – again, whatever you like or have
a few slices of Bacon - sells it for carnivores but does add cholesterol
Deep stockpot, Dutch oven or very large non-stick sauté pan with tall rim
salt, and pepper
Prep greens: You need a big bowl and a colander and a space to put wet greens (I use my drain board; you can also use a dishtowel). Tear leaves off of stems and place in bowl of water. When full (you may have to do this in batches) swish the greens around. Then lift them out of the water and drop in colander. If there is a lot of dirt left in the bowl of water, repeat the process until there isn’t. Make a pile of these until they are all clean. Then, chop roughly, and put them back in the colander ‘til you’re ready for ‘em. Don’t attempt to dry them – they need the water to cook.
If using bacon, cook 2 – 4 slices in the pot you’ll be cooking the greens in. Remove to paper towels to drain and then chop or crumble and set aside. Drain off bacon fat if necessary so there’s about 2 tablespoons left in the pan with the bits.
Slice a few cloves of garlic or chunk of peeled ginger finely. If you want to use onions or shallots dice them.
Add a couple more tablespoons of oil of choice into the pan, mix with bacon fat and heat over moderate flame. Sauté onion until translucent if using, then add garlic for another minute or so, stirring until it is fragrant.
Begin to add a couple of handfuls of greens at a time, shaking some salt over each batch, and then sautéing until it begins to wilt, then adding the next few handfuls. Don’t cheat on the salt, it does something for the cooking, as does the water still on the greens, which helps steam them slightly but may cause popping. When all greens are in and wilted, check to see if they’re tender. More delicate greens like spinach and possibly chard will be tender and done at this point. Kale and other tougher greens will still need some cooking. Turn down the heat, push all the greens into the middle of the pan and cover. Let it sit, stirring occasionally, for 5 – 20 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK and DO NOT ADD LIQUID. You don’t want them to lose their deep color or to get hugely limp, you just want to be able to chew them.
Serve in in bowls with bacon sprinkled on top if using. Offer cider or other vinegar (or soy sauce if you used ginger) as well as Tabasco (for the people who need heat) to shake on top and Enjoy!