Thursday, December 29, 2011

Butter-Blanched Southern Greens

I love Trader Joe's.  It is one of my favorite grocery stores, partially because they have great frozen meals and great pre-washed and prepared greens.  They also have the happiest, nicest people working there.  This is the first time that we have tried their Southern Greens Blend, which includes mustard greens, turnip greens, collards and spinach.  This is also the first time we have tried our new Jean-Georges cookbook, Home-Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes The recipe almost sounded too simple to be worthwhile.  But blanching greens in butter seemed like an interesting approach and sometimes simple is good, so I decided to give it a try.  I had to cut down on the amount of butter because 12 tbsp for a pound of greens (or 6 tbsp for 1/2 of a pound) seemed like an obscene amount.  So I cut the amount of butter by 2 tbsp for 1/2 lb of greens.  And we used the mixed greens rather than the mustard greens as the recipe called for.

Alex and I were both surprised by the amount of flavor the greens picked up from the butter.  He was worried that the greens were going to be bitter and/or bland, but somehow they weren't.  We were trying to decide just how we would change the recipe, but I'm afraid that adding any additional ingredients would mask the delicate (but rich) flavor of the butter.  We didn't use the optional mustard oil that the recipe called for, but maybe we will try that next time?  Altogether this was a pretty decent first recipe from our new cookbook and a fun new way to cook greens!

Recipe after the jump!

Butter-Blanched Southern Greens
Adapted from Home-Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes
By Jean-Georges Vongerichten

1/2 lb Southern greens (we used the Trader Joe's Southern Greens Blend of mixed mustard greens, turnip greens, collards, and spinach), thick stems removed and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp kosher salt
mustard oil (optional - we didn't use it)
freshly ground black pepper

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.  Add water and salt and return to a rapid boil.  Add the greens and cook, stirring, until wilted and tender, about 4 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a serving dish.

Drizzle with mustard oil (if using) and season with s&p.  Serve.

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