Don’t forget to make good use of sesame seeds! Their distinct flavor is perfect for some recipes (see gluten-free pizza). In this recipe besides adding flavor, sesame adds a nice crunch to tender greens.
The more fibrous leafy greens (kale, collards) are best steamed until just tender and then served immediately with whatever oil or seasoning you choose. This recipe demonstrates one way to succeed in cooking greens. There seems to be confusion about how to enjoy these super-nutritious vegetables. Some say to throw them in a smoothie to get it over with and not have to taste them–YUCK. This is not a good idea as cruciferous vegetables are better digested when cooked appropriately.
Others overcook these greens into a drab-green mess. No wonder many people have childhood memories of hating them! I’ve even been served (in a local deli) kale that someone managed to burn into a black crisp which somehow remained undercooked. Here’s a way forward.
4 cups collard greens, chopped fine (1/4 inch strips)
1/4 cup hulled, raw sesame seeds
1 Tbsp ghee
1 Tbsp cold-pressed sesame oil (optional–just use 2 Tbsp. of ghee)
2 large cloves garlic
sea salt and black pepper to taste
First, dry roast the sesame seeds. Place them in a skillet and heat over medium heat while stirring until they are golden brown–this just takes about 5 minutes. Be prepared to pour them into a bowl quickly because they can burn faster than you think. Set aside.
Now put the chopped collards in a vegetable steamer over boiling water. Cover with the lid cracked and turn the heat down enough to just keep them steaming. Give them a stir once or twice and taste for tenderness. Keep an eye on them! Younger greens will cook more quickly than bigger leaves that are more fibrous. As soon as they are tender (usually 4-10 minutes) remove them from the steamer to stop them from cooking further. Set aside but keep them covered–it’s okay if they cool down a little for a few minutes.
Now heat the ghee and oil in a skillet over medium heat. As soon as the ghee melts, crush the garlic cloves with a garlic press into the warm oil–don’t overheat the oil because garlic can sizzle and then burn quickly. Add the sesame seeds and stir well. Let this mixture heat for a minute or two while stirring and then add the greens. Stir well for a minute or two just to evenly heat the greens. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately.