Assertive Greens with Shallots and Cream
(From the Cook’s Illustrated New Best Recipe Cookbook)
2 pounds kale, or collard, mustard or turnip greens, stems removed
1 ½ t. salt
Wash greens in two or three changes of cold water. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. At the salt and greens and stir until just wilted. Cover and cook until the greens are just tender, about 7 minutes. Drain into a colander. Refill the Dutch oven with cold water and add the drained greens to stop the cooking. Drain again in colander and press in paper towels to remove excess water. Chop coarsely.
2 T. unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, chopped fine
blanched greens, above
¼ C. heavy cream
½ t. sugar
½ t. minced fresh thyme
1/8 t. nutmeg
Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the greens and stir to coat with butter. Stir in the cream, thyme and nutmeg. Cover and cook until greens are heated through, about 2 minutes. If any excess liquid remains, remove the lid and continue to simmer until the cream has thickened slightly, about one minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Adaptations for book club:
I bought 1½ pounds of chopped baby kale in a big plastic bag at Costco. I also used two bunches of kale, removing the stems. I was serving 14 so I thought I needed a lot! I chopped the fresh kale before I rinsed and blanched it with the kale from the plastic bag. I only blanched it for about 4 minutes. I drained it, squeezed out as much liquid as I could and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, I completed the recipe just before lunch. I used 3 shallots and 4 cloves of garlic. I quadrupled the cream and nutmeg, and used 1/2 t. dried thyme. I added about ¾ pound of spinach and the greens to the pan and cooked it all together uncovered about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Not all the cream was absorbed, but people seemed to like it anyhow! – Kate Burke