Looking for good veggies that are in season this winter? Look no further than leafy winter greens, says Chef Tom Douglas.
“I think it’s interesting that we call them ‘winter greens,'” says Tom, “because they really do grow in the summertime, and they’re best in the spring and in the fall.” But, he points out, collard greens grow in Seattle area all year long.
Tom suggests making collard greens his way, with two bunches of greens, roughly a pound each. “I take them and I run my fingers along the stem, and then I run the leaf back to the top so you almost pull the stem right out of the green itself,” he says. He then rough-chops them so you don’t get whole leaves hanging out of his mouth.
Then, he gets a ham hock and cooks it in water “until the meat falls right off the bone,” and picks the hock clean. Braise the greens in the ham hock water to get the full flavor of the meat infused in the veggies.
“I pick the ham hock meat and then I re-add that to the collard greens later,” he says, and adds a can of fire-roasted tomatoes while sauteeing the greens in bacon fat or olive oil.
For a touch of sweetness, he suggests adding a bit of molasses, and finishing with a little salt, pepper and garlic. Top with ham hock bits and stir.
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