Being a true southern girl, I plant "greens" every year, and I ain't talkin' 'bout no salad greens. I speak of turnip greens and collard greens. No mustard greens, since they are not my favorite.
I always have an abundance and have tried to offer them to my friends and those I only know in passing. Not a one of those I have offered to share my garden bounty with have had any clue what my greens are. How can this be? I know about foods that are not from the deep south. I am not above trying new foods.
I grew up eating these greens. Always cooked the same way. Ham of some sort boiled in water, add the greens and cook it endlessly. The turnip roots are put in last and boiling continues. Some like a good sprinkling of pepper sauce, and you have to have cornbread (a southern law) on the side. In the event of not having any ham product on hand, a big dollop of "seasoning", aka bacon fat, is added to the water. The water left in the pot after the greens have been removed is referred to as "pot liquor". This is sopped up and eaten with the aforementioned cornbread.
I don't cook mine the same way, I like to leave the fat out. I add my greens to salted water and cook just until they are tender. They can be a little bitter, so I taste mine early in the cooking and will sometimes add a tablespoon of brown sugar. As much as I might prefer my cooking method, I am not at all opposed to eating them at my Mama's, should I be pulling my chair up to her table.
These greens can be frozen, but I prefer mine fresh. Today I strolled the garden and noted that I had quite a few turnips peeking out of the ground. Greens are cool weather plants. The green tops were beyond edible, the snow and freezing temps rendering them yellowed and withered. The turnips were nice and firm, though. So, why not have a big pan of roasted turnips?
I like to roast all kinds of veggies and root veggies lend themselves nicely to this method. So, I cleaned them and cut them into bite-sized chunks, and decided they would pair well with some carrots. I sprinkled them with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt and tossed them in olive oil. Into the oven for about 30 minutes.
I have a favorite new dinner vegetable. They were so good. I am still confused, though. The grocery stores sell them here. How is it that nobody knows what they are? I eat Mexican food, but I am not from Mexico. Love middle eastern food, never been there, though.