Smothered leeks and greens

December 2, 2009 4:15:00 PM PST
A delicious dish that will complement any meal -- Chef Bruce Aidells shares his recipe for smothered leeks and greens.

Smothered leeks and Collard Greens
4-6 Servings

Leeks are a totally under appreciated vegetable and have a more subtle flavor than onions. I love them anyway the are cooked and found they go particularly well with winter greens such as turnip greens or collards. They are also delicious with fresh green peas and mushrooms.

My preferred green is turnip with the baby turnip attached but they are often difficult to find. If you can't find them use regular turnip green, mustard greens, collards or kale and then add some diced turnip. Instead of bacon you can also use diced ham, ham hocks or tasso the spicy Cajun smoked pork shoulder.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium- sized leeks, white and yellow parts only
  • ¼ pound bacon chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery peeled and chopped
  • 2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups winter greens, washed, steams removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation:
  1. Split leeks in half length wise and cut in ¼- inch half rounds. Place into a large bowl and cover with water. The leeks will float to the top and the grit and sand will sink to the bottom. Scoop up leeks with your hands and drain in a colander and set aside.

  2. Heat a large lidded pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and bacon. Stir and fry until lightly browned then add leeks, carrots, celery, shallot and turnip.

  3. Cover and fry for 5 minutes or until vegetables soften. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in greens, broth and optional cream. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes or until greens are very tender.

  4. Transfer solids with a strainer slotted spoon to a warm serving bowl and reduce liquid until it just turns syrupy. Pour over the vegetables and stir. Stir in salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and serve, greens can be done a day ahead and rewarmed.
For more information about Bruce Aidells, visit www.aidells.com


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