Hearty greens often take a back seat to their sexier cousins in the produce section. They don’t seem to promise the same instant gratification as plump red tomatoes or buttery ripe avocados. I sometimes even find myself staring at the chard in our garden asking, “Now what?”
Well I think I’ve found the answer. This way of cooking greens came out of my desire for utility, an impulse I suspect a lot of cooks are having these days. Picture if you will a substantial bunch of greens, hacked off of some gorgeous golden beets and bound for the compost pile. Now imagine an intensely burning pyramid of lump charcoal laying in wait for a few meager steaks. It just doesn’t feel right. Here is my culinary solution, the result of which is tasty, resourceful, and the perfect go-to accompaniment for a summers worth of grilled meats…oh, and although untested, I imagine this would make a killer burger topping.
To serve 2-4 people as a side:
- 1 bunch of hearty greens (collard, beet, swiss chard)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Pre-heat gas grill to high or charcoal grill so that coals are at their hottest. Wash greens thoroughly and shake off any excess water. Set whole greens with stems on grill grate and move frequently with tongs to provide substantial grill marks on the wilting leaves. Allow the stems to linger over the hottest part of the grill as they will take longer to cook. Total cooking time should take no longer than five minutes.
Once the greens are cool enough to handle, slice the leaves into half inch ribbons and the stems into quarter inch pieces. Place the greens in a medium mixing bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
Can be served hot, at room temperature, or cooled and re-heated.