Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.
Dark Leafy Greens
There are a million reasons to love dark leafy greens, and I serve them several times a week. Kale, spinach, collards, and turnip greens all take their turn on our supper table. In the Appalachian south, turnip greens are the favorite leafy greens and the ones I grew up eating the most. While collards are more well-known, turnip greens are equally delicious and quick to prepare.
This is exactly how my mother and grandmother made them. I love the simplicity of this dish, and I love how incredibly inexpensive it is to make this nutritional powerhouse of a recipe. High in fiber and loaded with nutrients, this version is low in fat and high in flavor—everything you could ask for!
It was our family tradition to have greens on New Year's day. The story is that greens represent the folding green of money, so the more you eat, the more money the coming year will bring you. The three foods that bring the most New Year's luck are black-eyed peas, pork, and dark leafy greens like turnip greens or collards.
Whether once a year or every week, try this simple recipe. It's good for you, tastes great, costs almost nothing, and if it's lucky, it's even more a winner!
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- 1 large bunch turnip greens, washed and trimmed
- 1 small turnip diced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons water
- Wash and trim your turnip greens. This is easiest if you simply fold each leaf in half with the rib on the outside, grasp the rib, and pull it off. Stack several cleaned leaves together, roll them up, then slice them into ribbons. I show this method in the video I posted at the end of this article.
- Over medium heat, place the olive oil into a large saucepot. Saute the onion and turnip with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes until softened and fragrant, about ten minutes.
- Add turnip greens and stir well. Pour in red wine vinegar and water and bring to a boil, stirring well as the greens soften. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, occasionally stirring, for about 45 minutes or until greens are nicely tender.
- Serve hot, and enjoy! You can turn the heat to low and hold these for quite a while if you're prepping other dishes. I love these greens with perfectly creamy grits and homemade cast iron skillet cornbread. Mmmmm....
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© 2017 Jan Charles