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Assertive Greens with Honey Mustard Sauce
Source: "Perfect Vegetables" by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine (Entered by Janice Matthews)
America’s Test Kitchen cleaned, stemmed, and cooked over 100 pounds of leafy greens to come up with the best ways to cook both the tender, mild varieties of greens and the more “assertive” ones. They found that the amount of water used to blanch the greens really does matter, so take the time to measure it! Cooking time also matters — these greens do not need to be boiled for hours, the way old-timey cooks did it!
This newer method sounds much more time-consuming and involved than it really is in practice. The basic blanching method described here results in tender greens with good color and full flavor without bitterness. After draining them, they can be quickly cooked with whatever seasonings you desire. We’re particularly partial to this honey mustard version.
Step by Step Instructions
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a dutch oven or other deep pot. While the water is heating, prepare the greens.
- (To prepare the greens, rinse them well, then use a knife or scissors to slash the leafy part from either side of the the thick stem. Discard the stems, and rough-chop the leaves.)
- Add the salt and greens to the water, and stir a bit until they wilt down. Cover the pot and cook until the greens are just tender (about 7 minutes). Then drain the greens in a colander.
- Rinse the dutch oven or pot with cold water to cool it down, then refill it with cold water. Pour the greens into the cold water to stop the cooking process. As soon as they are cool, gather a handful, lift it out of the water, squeeze dry and plop it into a bowl to wait while you get the sauce ready. Repeat with the rest.
- Mix the mustard, honey, and broth together in a small bowl.
- Heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant and starts to sizzle (about 1 minute).
- Add the greens and stir to coat them with the fat. Then stir in the mustard mixture.
- Cover and cook until the greens are heated through (about 2 minutes). If any excess liquid remains, remove the lid and continue to simmer until the liquid has thickened slightly (about 1 minute longer).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
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