Alice Waters and Spicy Collard Greens


I intentionally tuned in to Martha this past Monday because she was going to be hosting Flavorista Icon, Alice Waters, to discuss her new book, In the Green Kitchen, Techniques to Learn by Heart.

I did not make it through the whole show (the round table discussion seemed a bit forced) and the interviews did not give me any huge insights, but man, Alice Waters is a soft spoken, powerhouse.  The Chez Panisse Foundation works towards ensuring that all children have access to fresh, healthy food, without a doubt a laudable goal.

Back in my Odwalla days, Barr brought a group of us to a marvelous lunch at Chez Panisse.  It was there that I experienced my first nettles, sliced into a perfectly prepared hanger steak and sipped my first aromatic tisane.  I have since purchased a few of Alice Water’s books and I use them regularly for recipes and for research.

Like most Americans, my diet could use more leafy greens.  When it comes to green veggies, I first turn to green beans, asparagus, broccoli and baby spinach.  Few leafy green recipes speak to me but this recipe piqued my interest and had me running to the store for collards.

Vincenzo had fun with the huge leaves.  The simmering pork broth permeated the whole house with a divine, bacon smell that filled me with anticipation of a leafy green dish that I could embrace.

The finished dish was superb.  I served it over a mixture of brown rice and wheat berries and garnished it with sprinkling of feta.  You could skip the the preparation of the smoked pork broth and substitute chicken broth but I would not recommend it.  In fact, I would strongly encourage you to make the “bacon broth” because it is what makes this dish notable.

Spicy Collard Greens with Tomato, Onions and Garlic from Martha Stewart
Makes about 8 cups

8 cups Smoked Pork Stock (see below)
3 lbs. collard greens, stems and ribs removed
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained

In a large pot, bring pork stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Add greens and cook until tender, 15 to 40 minutes; drain, reserving stock.  Roughly chop.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes and cook, breaking up with the back of a spoon, for 10 minutes. Add cooked greens and 2 – 3 cups of reserved stock; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve.

Smoked Pork Broth
Makes about 12 cups

1 pound sliced smoked pork shoulder, country ham and bacon, rinsed

Place pork in large stockpot and add 16 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium and let simmer, partially covered, until stock develops a strong, smoked pork flavor, 2 hours. Strain and discard pork. Stock may be kept refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

If you are interested in watching the Martha program with Alice Waters, click here.

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