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Stewed Greens with Tomatoes and Mint

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs swiss chard or kale, stemmed and washed
  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, seeded and grated/chopped, or a 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh fennel or dill
  • 2 tbl tomato paste, diluted in 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Recipe

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the greens. Blanch chard for 1 minute, or kale for 2 minutes. Transfer to the ice water, then drain and squeeze out water. Coarsely chop and set aside. Alternatively, steam the greens in a large steamer - 2 minutes for chard, 3 to 4 minutes for kale. Rinse and squeeze dry.

2. In a wide, heavy skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is tender and beginning to color, 5 to 8 minutes, and add the garlic, paprika and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for about a minute, until fragrant, and add the tomatoes and salt to taste.

3. Bring to a simmer, and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the greens, herbs and diluted tomato paste, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the greens are very tender, about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice, bulgur or just some good, crusty bread.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Recipe adapted from Diane Kochilas's The Greek Vegetarian

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