Speaking of Southern foods, my husband comes home the other week and says that a nurse he works with heard I grew up in the South and asked if I'd make her Greens and Beans. Now I send sweets with my husband all the time for his co-workers, but I've never made a regular meal for anyone. Plus, even though I'd consider myself a Southerner through and through, I'd never heard of Greens and Beans, nor am I known for my cooking! Since I couldn't find the recipe in any of my Southern cookbooks, I looked it up online. Good thing there is the internet! I found a recipe from Bon Appetit. While I was making it, I tested it on my eldest daughter and my husband. It got rave reviews so I felt a bit more confident sending it to work the next day to pass on to my husband's co-worker. The next day she told my husband that she had planned on eating half the bowl but ended up eating the whole container! She sent me a sweet thank you note too. I was surprised and thrilled at the same time that it all came out so well. Now the family is bugging me to make this for dinner!
Greens N' Beans
5 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
3 gloves of garlic, chopped fine (I used the bottled garlic)
1/4 to 1/2 crushed red pepper (add more if you like spicy)
1 large bunch of greens about 1 pound (I used bagged Collards and Turnip greens)
1 cup or more of chicken broth
1 15 oz can of white cannellini beans (white kidney beans) drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon of Sherry cooking wine
In a large pan, add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add garlic and red pepper. Stir until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add greens a handful at a time, using tongs to turn and coat with oil. Cook until greens begin to wilt. Add 1 cup of broth, cover and simmer until greens are just tender. Add more broth as needed, if dry. Add the beans and cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is evaporated. Add sherry and drizzle with last tablespoon of oil. Serve.
"Growing up Southern is a priviledge, really. It's more than where you were born, it's an idea and a state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It's more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, football and country music. It's being hospitable, devoted to front porches, magnolias, moon pies, and coca cola.....and each other. We don't become Southern, we are born that way."