Author Notes: This is an African twist on Connecticut staples… or, the best thing I leaned in college.
We were three young things – a perfect undergrad mash up. We agreed about everything except for dinner time. Thing 1 was a Vermont loving vegan. Thing 2 was a Zimbabwean carnivore. And I was a too-cool-for-school NYC kid. But we could all agree this dish was exactly what we needed – cheap and filling, nutritious and delicious.
The peanuty sweetness balances the acid in the tomato and cloaks the greens with amazing warm your bones flavor. But the best thing about this recipe is how flexible it is – my version uses kale, shallots, crunchy peanut butter, and a fire roasted plum tomatoes, but Thing 2’s original recipe used collards, onions, smooth skippy, and crushed canned tomatoes. Feel free to use this as a framework and find your own favorite version! —Lucha
bunch greens, thinly sliced – my favorite is lacinato kale
shallots, thinly sliced – or 1/2 cup of chopped onions
cup chopped tomatoes – I use fire-roasted, canned plum tomatoes
oil / ghee / butter to coat the pan
salt and spice to taste
- Thinly slice your greens: Remove any very large stems, roll a stack of 5-10 leaves into a fruit roll up / cigar, then slice into 1/4″ ribbons.
- Melt oil / ghee in a large frying pan. Add shallots or onions and cook until golden. If you want, you can add garlic or pepper flakes at this stage for extra spice.
- Add the greens and cook until wilted. I like some toothsome chew to this dish, so I only go about 5-10 minutes if I am using a tender green like lacinato kale, but you can add a little water / stock at this point and simmer up to an hour if you are cooking tough greens.
- Stir in peanut butter and tomatoes. Add tomato liquid / water / stock if you want a smoother sauce. Turn off the heat and mix until everything is fully incorporated.
- Salt will help tie all of the flavors together, but the amount you need will vary depending on what peanut butter you use. Sometimes I use soy sauce or worcestershire sauce for some extra umami. Sometimes I add some homemade harissa for around the world spice. Taste! Adapt! Adopt! and Save some green.