The start of a new year brings new hopes, dreams and wishes for health and prosperity. Why not give yourself a bit of a head start with a traditional New Year’s Day meal?
Although the combination of black-eyed peas, cornbread and cooked leafy greens are associated with the American South, many cultures celebrate the new year with these seasonal staples.
Dark, leafy greens such as collard or mustard can be bitter, but braising them — using dry and wet heat — with aromatic herbs and smoked meat can soften them a bit.
Collard greens are a nutritional powerhouse — high in protein, fiber, iron and folate.
Yields 5 to 6 servings
3 slices smoked turkey bacon, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 teaspoons hot pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds collard or other dark, leafy greens
3 cups water
Coat a medium stockpot with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium. Add turkey bacon and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly brown. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onion and saute until soft. Add the scallion, garlic and spices and bring to a boil.
Prepare the greens by washing thoroughly and removing stems. Tear or slice leaves into bite-size pieces. Add greens to the pot and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring continuously, until greens begin to wilt.
Add 3 cups water to stockpot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook 20 to 30 minutes until tender.
Recipe adapted from “What’s Cooking?” USDA Mixing Bowl.