Recipe for Cooking Greens

Tender leaves are picked from the plants and cleaned by soaking in a sink full of water in which a little salt has been added. Larger leaves tend to become tough and bitter with age. Depending on the amount of dirt or bugs present, repeating this process with fresh water may be necessary. For 4 to 6 servings, you will need enough greens to tightly pack a small (6 quart) stock pot. About two pounds will suffice.

Into the stock pot, pour two cups of water and about a half teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste). In classic Southern-style, bacon grease is added for flavor and mouth feel. A little fine flavored olive oil may accomplish a similar effect for vegetarians.

Add the greens to the pot by tearing and breaking them apart into bite-sized pieces. You can also chop the greens if you wish. Pack the greens into the pot, cover, and simmer over a medium low flame, stirring often, for two hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, various garnishes are added.

It is this last step that sets different family recipes apart. Try finely diced onion, garlic and your favorite pepper sauce. Greens are typically served as a side dish with cornbread and pepper sauce.