Cooked greens are a sturdy fare that occasionally needs a night out. Most times they are simmered unadorned—a bit of this, a splash of vinegar—a quiet anchor of the dinner plate. I think you will love braised greens in coconut milk. My tasters club really enjoyed them.
So Few Ingredients, Yet You Will Enjoy This Island Lift of Braised Greens
INGREDIENTS: Consider a variety of sturdy greens. I love gai lan [Chinese broccolini], and kale
- collards – 1 large bunch, stemmed
- scallions – 1 bunch, thinly sliced
- coconut oil – 2 TBS
- coconut milk – 1 cup [or more to taste]
- soy sauce – 1 TBS
- salt – 1/2 tsp
- pepper – 1/4 tsp
GARNISH OPTIONS: toasted sesame seeds, or chopped peanuts, dash of hot sauce
ENTRÉE ADDITION: I was greatly surprised when adding cooked lentils to the finished dish. A marriage that elevates both the collards and the lentils! This can become a comfort standard!
- Strip the stems from cleaned collards
- Lay about three leaves atop each other and gently roll into a tube. Slice them into 1/4-inch strips. Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Slice scallions into 1/4-inch pieces.
- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet and add the scallions. Cook briefly until wilted. Add the collards and repeat turning the leaves until wilted, a few more minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, salt and pepper and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and cook until collards are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Check and add water if needed. Braising liquid should become a light sauce at the end of cooking. You may need to uncover to thicken the sauce a bit.
- Serve along with toasted sesame seeds or chopped nuts and a bottle of hot sauce.
PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS: Use a pressure cooker and proceed with steps 1 through 5 and then lock down the lid and cook for about 8-10 minutes. *My last batch I added a half cup green lentils to the pressure cooker along with the collards. Wow, it added a meaty body and a side became an entrée!
Recipe inspired by Von Diaz
Southeast Asia Braised Greens
- kale – one bunch, stemmed, chopped [or gai lan]
- coconut oil – 1 TBS
- garlic – 2 small, pureed in pinch of salt
- ginger – 1 tsp, minced
- onion – 2 TBS, thinly sliced
- lime – 1, 1 tsp zest and 2 TBS juice
- chives – 1/4 cup, chopped
- cilantro – 1/4 cup chopped [or parsley or mint or basil]
- mirin – 1 TBS, [or 1 TBS dry sherry and 1 tsp sugar]
- fish sauce – 1/2 tsp
- salt – to taste [or soy sauce]
INSTRUCTIONS: See above. [If using kale or gai lan, pressure cook for only 2 minutes and then quick release.]
- After pressure cooking: added the garlic, lime, herbs and ginger and simmer a few minutes
Recipe by B. Hettig