Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"The Best Greens I Ever Ate"

     This recipe was given to me by my son, Eli, who decided to opt out of the cafeteria plan in his last year of college.  Instead, he cooks most of his meals on the weekends in an apartment kitchen, and eats them all week.   
     He sent me an email with this recipe, which he invented with his new girlfriend one Sunday evening.  I assumed he referred to them as "the best greens ever," because he was happily in love.  
     But then I cooked them up for myself, and they really are the best ever.

1 pound collard greens
1/2 cup olive oil
4 Tbsp pepper oil (in Chinese grocery stores)
2 onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 yellow or red bell peppers, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can tomato paste
3 Tbsp dried, or 1/2 cup fresh, oregano
1 Tbsp dried, or 1/4 cup fresh, basil
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup soy sauce

Wash collards and chop central stalks into tiny pieces.  Chop leafy parts and set aside.
Heat oils in a large cooking pot or frying pan.
Stir in collard stalks, peppers and onions, and cook, until soft.
Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, cayenne, and salt.  Stir until well-integrated.
Add collards in bunches, cooking until wilted, and adding more.  Use additional pepper oil if necessary, stirring constantly.
Add oregano, basil, soy sauce (and MSG, if desired), seasoning more to taste. Stir in over a few minutes.  Serve alongside jasmine rice.

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