Author Notes: A few weeks ago I went to a surprise party and when the food was served I discovered a chafing dish of greens and ham at the very end of the buffet. Thank. You. God. All that hammy goodness in between tender, spicy leaves, contrasted by the occasional crunchy stem…all dripping with broth…is crazy good. Cruising through Trader Joes yesterday with this lingering in the background of my thoughts, I picked up a bag of mixed greens–collard, spinach, mustard and turnip–to make at home. Since warm weather– and tank top and shorts season–is coming, I wanted to prepare the greens light and bright so I omitted the ham. I really enjoyed the result and you can easily adjust to add more or less of an ingredient like garlic for example, to suit your taste. I threw in scallions and can’t decide if they made a huge difference, but you could leave them out. I also thought of finishing with a small pat of butter…Hmmmm **If you make this, I recommend using a large (meaning wide) pan/pot because until they cook down a little, the greens have lots of volume and want to get all over the place. —Laura_K
garlic, smashed then roughly chopped
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Select a large saute pan/shallow pot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom and place over medium/low heat. Add the garlic and cook gently until it starts to soften and turns a light golden color–about four minutes.
- Once the garlic has softened up, add the shallots and stir. You don’t want to brown them so much as you want them to become soft and translucent.
- Once the garlic and shallots are tender, add the greens, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Stir and cook until the greens soften–I prefer to leave the stems crunchy.
- When you’re just about to pull them off of the heat stir in the crushed red pepper flakes and scallions.