Sunday, March 4, 2012

Turnip Greens

Andy and I were out checking our asparagus bed in the garden this morning when I noticed there were turnip greens growing all over the place. I went and grabbed a "W-Mart sack" and proceeded to pick and fill the bag completely full.
I had pinto beans in the freezer so all I had to do was fix some cornbread and we we're good to go!
I have to be honest. There was a day when I wouldn't touch turnip greens for all the money in the world. Every time I tried them they were bitter and tasted awful. Andy's recipe is what changed my mind. One year I ran to the farmer's market on our town square while he was working and bought a couple of coolers full to cook and freeze. He was laughing his head off when he saw how many we had to cook. Keep in mind, a bag full cooks down quite a bit.

The first thing you need to do is wash the greens and go through them carefully. Since this is winter, bugs won't be an issue. Weeds and other odd things won't be an issue either because I'm really picky and I just grabbed the tops. At a normal time of the year, the patch is pretty full and he pulls hand-fulls of them and weeds could easily be picked.  

Pour the greens into a clean sink. Fill the sink with cold water. I went ahead and dropped some salt in the sink just out of habit. I didn't see any bugs floating, but you never know. Even though we had stormy weather the night before, the first soaking cleaned off a lot of fine dirt. You would think with all the rain and wind, they would be clean. Drain the sink and repeat two times. If the stems are really big, I do pick through them. I've been to restaurants that serve them up if they have 1/4" stems. UGHHH!

Fill a large pot with greens and fill with water about 2" from the top. Cook on medium-high. As the greens cook down, add more. Stir frequently.

Once all the greens are in the pot, add 1 tbp. sugar and 1 tsp. each salt and pepper. Hard to imagine the amount in the pot almost filled my whole sink! 

We like to cook some type of pork in the greens. Tonight it was three boneless pork chops. My favorite is to drop in a pack of boneless country style ribs. The fat on the meat really seasons them. Once the meat is cooked through, don't forget to taste the broth (pot liquor). Add whatever additional seasoning they may need to suit your taste.

Cook until they turn a nice dark green and the greens and pork are tender.  This pot cooked at a slow boil for about 2-1/2 hours on a medium low heat.
Andy will be dousing his greens with vinegar and hot peppers.

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