Garlic, Leek and Shallot Greens

I was recently in Washington, D.C. with Joan Nathan and cooked these greens for a brunch she hosted with 40 chefs at her home. Many requested the recipe—here I share it with you as well:

IMG_3727 (1)The key to these greens is that everything is sautéed separately. This is really more about technique than cooking.

  • • Use everything, including the stems, and cook them separately from the leaves.
  • • A large variety of greens is best.
  • • Take your time in sautéeing the onions, leeks and garlic slowly, in lots of oil sprinkled with salt.
  • • Once your onions, leeks and garlic are cooked, you add them in batches to the cooked greens. 
  • • It’s a long, slow process—but so good!

I often make this for large groups—here’s how I prepare it the day before:

  • • Cool the greens faster by spreading each batch out on a sheet pan as soon as it is cooked.
  • • Keep the different greens separated until they are cooled.
  • • Then combine all of them in an oven-ready pot or deep ceramic dish and refrigerate overnight.
  • • To reheat, place the dish, well covered with a lid or foil, in a oven and turn it to 350˚.
  • • Serve as soon as the greens are warm, after 20 minutes or so. 

 Serves 8-10

2 bunches Chinese broccoli, rapini, or other sturdy green, washed
2 bunches chard, washed
1 bunch kale, washed
1 bunch mustard greens, washed
2 bunches spinach, washed well to remove sand
1 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 large leeks, sliced in half and then into thin half-moons
6 large shallots, thinly sliced
At least one tsp. salt per bunch of greens, or to taste. Greens need salt!

Wash the Chinese broccoli and shake off excess water. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces and set aside. Chop the leaves into bite-size pieces. Do the same for the chard, kale, mustard greens and spinach or any other greens you choose, keeping the chopped stems and chopped leaves separate from each other and from the other greens.

Blanch the Chinese broccoli by dropping it in salted boiling water and then putting it in ice water or cold water to stop it from cooking; this takes out some of the bitter taste.

Heat a wok or large skillet over a medium flame. Swirl in the oil. Add the garlic and stir briefly, until fragrant. Add the onions and shallots and cook slowly, stirring, for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Do not caramelize or brown: This is more like poaching than sautéeing.

Sauté the broccoli first, using the oil from the onion and shallot mixture. Toss the broccoli in the oil for about 2-3 minutes and remove to a shallow bowl. Scoop a little bit of the onion mixture over the broccoli.  

Next, sauté the broccoli stalks. If they are all about the same texture, you can sauté all the greens stalks together. Begin with the oil from the onion mixture and cook the stems. Just before removing them from the pan, add a tablespoon of the onion mixture and toss well. Add these to the broccoli and begin to sauté your next greens, using the oil and cooking lightly and then adding the onion mixture. 

Once all the greens are cooked you can reheat them together, tossing with the remaining onion mixture. 

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