Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wednesday Chef

I'll confess, I came across the previous recipe thanks to the Wednesday Chef. I love checking out her blog for analysis of NYTimes recipes and ideas for how to use seasonal produce. Unfortunately, as she lives in NYC, her produce tends to come into season just a little after mine. But, checking out her archives is always an adventure.

Another one of my perennial favorites that I found on her website is Regina Schrambling's Collard Squares. When I want to take more than 15 minutes to simply sautee my greens, I make a version of this. The collards aren't bitter, caramelized onions provide sweetness, and the addition of eggs and cheese make this almost an entire meal in one dish. I love this with a side of cornbread to make it feel just a little bit more Southern.

Like most of my recipes, play with the proportions, substitute the Cheddar with Swiss or Mozzarella, portabellos or cremini for shiitakis. Even the collards can be substituted with some other bitter greens, like mustard or turnip tops. Heck, if you're a mushroom-phobe, substitute ham. And increase all ingredients by 50% and baked in a 9x13 pan for a larger crowd.

Collard Squares
1 large bunch collards, washed thoroughly, destemmed and coarsely shredded
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 lb shiitakes, destemmed and diced (dried and rehydrated shiitakes do great in this recipe)
1/2 tsp soy sauce
4 large eggs
2 oz shredded cheddar
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Place collards, pepper and pinch of salt in a large pot with water to cover. Simmer covered for 20 min, then drain.

While collards are simmering, heat butter in the bottom of a skillet. Sautee onions and garlic with a pinch of salt until softened. Add mushrooms and soy sauce, sautee for an additional 5-7 minutes before removing from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 inch casserole dish (I do like to use butter for this).

Combine cooked vegetables in a bowl (I use the empty pot when I don't want to wash more dishes) and add rest of the ingredients, mixing until everything is well combined. Pour into casserole and bake for 20 min.

Serves 4

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