It was drizzly and rainy all of the last week. The grass greened up. The goats ate. And ate. Look at Caper’s bulging belly.
The boys would have eaten these,
but these greens were safe from hungry goats in the fenced vegetable garden. These beautiful leaves are a braising mix, designed to be eaten young or mature, but always cooked. The other night I clipped enough leaves for myself. I always wash greens in a couple of immersions and swirls in clean water, and then spin off the excess water.
There are two ways to cook greens. Either sauté them quickly and eat at the just wilted stage, or cook at length in a cook broth with a flavor booster, like a ham hock. Young greens like these are best sautéed; tougher greens are best done in the long simmer. For both methods, the leaves shrink to a fraction of their raw volume, so always pick more than you think you can eat. To prepare the first greens from my garden, I heated a large sauté pan, tipped in a touch of fragrant olive oil, and tossed in the greens. (They were so young and tender that I left the stalks on, older greens would have had the ribs stripped off.) I stirred and turned, and within two minutes the greens wilted.
Next, I sprinkled on about a quarter of a teaspoon of exceptionally good balsamic vinegar (the type that is aged until it has the consistency of molasses and is so sweet that you’re tempted to drink it), gave them one more quick toss in the heat, and then brought them right to the table, where I used a quick turn of the salt and pepper mills.
Dinner was pan-fried sole, a baked potato and greens.
Unlike Caper, I don’t eat until bursting. In fact, after this light and healthy meal, there was still room for homemade chocolate chip cookies and ice cream.