Braised greens are a staple dish in Southern cuisine. Traditionally, greens like collards, mustard or turnip are cooked low and slow and flavored with meat, such as ham hocks, smoked turkey necks or bacon. Looking to make a vegetarian version with just as much umami, Adam Howard, executive chef of Washington, D.C.'s Blue Duck Tavern, turns to white soy and heavily flavored broth or nage.
Here's how to make it at home.
Braised Field Greens with White Soy Pot LikkerCourtesy of executive chef Adam Howard, Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C.
Serves 6 to 8
2 large tomatoes, stems removed and split vertically
oil, for sautéing
2 cups thinly sliced sweet onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound collard greens, woody stems removed, leaves cut into thick ribbons
1 pound mustard greens, cut into thick ribbons
1 pound rainbow chard, sliced into ribbons
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 quarts vegetable nage (recipe below)
4 tablespoons white soy
2 ounces organic unsalted butter
1. Set your broiler to high and lightly char and roast the tomatoes skin side up for 8 minutes.
2. Heat some oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and sauté the onion and garlic until lightly golden. Add the tomatoes and all of the greens and cook until the greens are slightly wilted. Add the Aleppo pepper, black pepper and salt.
3. Deglaze with the cider vinegar and then add the vegetable nage and braise until the greens are tender.
4. Finish with the white soy and butter. Taste and adjust with more salt, pepper or vinegar as necessary.
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Vegetable NageMakes approximately 6 quarts
oil, for sautéing
2 ounces thyme
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon green cardamom
1 tablespoon pink peppercorn
2 bay leaves
1 quart roughly chopped onion
1 pint roughly chopped carrots
1 pint roughly chopped leeks
1 pint roughly chopped fennel
5 cloves garlic
1 cup Pernod
1 pint roughly chopped tomatoes
1. In a stockpot, lightly toast the thyme, black pepper, cardamom, pink peppercorns and bay leaves in some oil; add the onions, carrots, leeks, fennel and garlic and sweat without getting any color.
2. Deglaze with the Pernod. Cover with cold water and simmer for an hour.
3. Add the lemon and tomatoes and steep everything together overnight. Strain.
Photo courtesy of Blue Duck Tavern.