Slow-Cooked Greens, Brazilian style
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
servings (about 5 cups total)
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Greens have a lot going for them—they’re cheap, widely available, and tasty. They are good for you heart—full of fiber and vitamins galore. They also happen to be easy to make. This version uses my twist on refogado—a mixture of finely processed onions, garlic and peppers, Brazil’s version of the sofrito paste that is the hallmark of other Latino and Mediterranean cuisines, and in this dish, it’s truly yummy. This is what layering flavors is all about. These greens are great served with a stew, any grilled protein or even mixed into eggs for a frittata the next day; it’s a sure-fire hit.
2 small onions, peeled and cut in half
6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half, any green centers discarded
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed and cut in half
1 orange bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed and cut in half
1 yellow bell pepper, halved, ribs and seeds removed
1 jalapeño pepper, halved, ribs and seeds removed, optional
2 tablespoons red palm oil or olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 cups roughly cut or torn collard greens, stems removed
¼ cup water
12 cups roughly cut or torn curly kale, stems removed
6 cups roughly cut or torn spinach leaves, stems removed
- Place the onions, garlic, and peppers in the bowl of a food processor and process for about 1 minute, until smooth with small chunks. It will be a bit slushy, but not mush.
- In a large saucepan or small stock pot set over high heat, heat the red palm oil until it is clear and shimmers. Add the pepper mixture and cook, stirring gently, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the liquid is almost gone. It will be very fragrant and a bit mushy. Add the salt and pepper and stir.
- With tongs, add the collard greens, turning gently to coat them with the oil and pepper mixture. Add the water and stir to incorporate. Add the kale and turn to coat; add the spinach, turning to coat and stirring to incorporate. The greens may well exceed the height of the pan, but do not fear—they will collapse as they cook by about 75 percent. Cover the pot, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until the collard greens are completely soft (they are the least tender green in this bunch) and the collards have turned a green khaki color.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. Just reheat to serve.
An easy way to remove the ribs from green leafy vegetables is told fold the leaf in half down the rib (as if you were closing a book). Place the folded leaf on a work surface and, with a sharp knife, slice the rib and stem off. Unfold the leaf and continue with your recipe.