Garlic-Braised Greens

Here’s your chance to experience those intriguing “braising greens” often found next to the bulk salad mix and spinach in better produce departments and farmers’ markets! Often these mixes contain miniature specimens of a greater assortment of leaves than you might otherwise purchase by the bunch (or at all). Often found in these mixes: dandelion greens, baby red mustard, tat soi, tiny kale, diminutive beet greens, and so on. Make sure they are perky and not at all wilted, and cook them that same evening, or at the very least, the next. They lose their spark if they sit around.

Roasted garlic has a handsomely bitter flavor that is both deeper and milder than fresh garlic. Roasted and fresh team up really well together to embrace an assortment of greens.

Remember to roast the garlic as much as several days ahead of time. Store it in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator until use.  Furthermore, make this in two batches so the pan won’t be crowded. Contact with the hot pan is key.

Garlic-Braised Greens

bowl of kale with garlic
Serves 4
  • 2 medium-sized bulbs garlic (tip sliced off near the top)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 to 10 cups or about a pound (packed) braising greens
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a small baking tray with foil and brush lightly with olive oil.
  2. Stand the garlic bulbs root side-down on the prepared tray, and drizzle the open top surfaces (where you sliced off the tops) with a little olive oil. Roast in the center of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until they feel soft when gently squeezed. Remove the tray from the oven, and let the bulbs cool until comfortable to handle. Separate the cloves, and squeeze each one over a small bowl, releasing the pulp. (Some cloves might keep their shape, while others turn to mush. All forms are welcome!)
  3. You can also peel all the garlic while it is still uncooked, and wrap the cloves in a tight little foil packet, spooning in about a teaspoon of olive oil. Roast the packet for about 20 to 30 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or until the cloves are very soft.
  4. Stem the greens, if necessary. Leave them whole, if very small, or coarsely chop if medium-small. Your call.
  5. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add half the remaining olive oil, and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in half of the greens, turn the heat up to medium-high, and stir-fry, turning with tongs, for about 5 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in half the fresh garlic, sprinkle lightly with salt, if desired, then transfer to a medium-sized bowl, and set aside. Repeat this step with the remaining olive oil and greens.
  6. When the leaves have wilted and the fresh garlic is mixed in, reduce the heat to medium-low, and return the first batch of greens to the pan. Add the roasted garlic, turning everything together with tongs to combine. Add a little extra olive oil, if desired, and taste to adjust salt. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Nutrition facts:

Per 1/4 of recipe 130 calories 3 grams of protein 9 grams of carbohydrates 3 grams of fiber 85 milligrams of sodium

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