2 to 3 tablespoons brown butter (see below)
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1/4 cup hot water
6 cups kale leaves (see instructions)
6 cups red or green chard leaves, plus a few chard stems (see instructions)
6 cups spinach leaves
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper
1 T. pink peppercorns
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
While the brown butter is cooking, cover the dried cranberries with the hot water to plump them. Set aside.
To prepare the greens: Tear the kale leaves away from the stems, tearing along the length of each stem. Discard the stems and cut the leaves into thick ribbons, 2 to 3 inches wide. Separate the chard leaves and stems in the same way, saving a few of the stems to slice and saute with the greens. Sort through the spinach; discard the stems and bruised or yellow leaves. Keeping the greens separate, wash and dry them in a spinner. Thinly slice the chard stems on a slight diagonal until you've sliced 3/4 cup. Wash the stems.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the chard stems, garlic, water and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the kale and, using metal tongs to toss, saute for 1 minute. Add the chard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few pinches of pepper; toss over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kale and chard are just tender. (The pan will be over-full when you first add the kale, but the greens will quickly cook down.)
Reduce heat and add the brown butter, spinach, currants and pine nuts; cook until the spinach is just wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns. Serve immediately, being sure to include the sweet pan juices.
Brown Butter: Melt 1/2 pound unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low heat. As the butter gently simmers, the butterfat and milk solids will separate from each other. The solids will settle to the bottom of the pan, coloring the butter as it cooks. When it turns a rich amber color (do not let it get darker), in about 8 to 10 minutes, remove from the heat. Line a fine-mesh strainer with a paper towel or cheesecloth and pour the butter through it, straining out the solids. The butter may be used immediately or cooled and refrigerated in a sealed container.
Note: the original recipe was modified by substituting dried cranberries for dried currants, and by adding pink peppercorns.
Source: "Field of Greens," by Annie Somerville. reprinted in sfgate.com, Thursday, January 18, 2007
Prepared by: Stacey for the December 2004 meeting.