Braised Mustard Greens & Mutzu Apples

Sorry for the tardiness! It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Sometimes even those of us who love to cook can’t be bothered to make something–that’s how I’ve felt these past two weeks, and that’s how I feel about cooking a Christmas Eve dinner when my flight lands at 4PM the day of: ain’t havin’ it. If you’re reluctantly cooking for the holidays, too, this recipe goes out to you. It’s fast, easy, and will probably be the healthiest thing on the table… unless, of course, there’s a pitcher of water. It might not be healthier than a pitcher of water.

1 bunch. mustard greens
2-4 shallots (depending on size)
1/2 large. mutzu apple (or any slightly tart variety)
1 tbsp. whole grain dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried dill (1 tbsp. fresh)
1 splash. red wine vinegar
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Begin by washing the greens thoroughly, and when I say thoroughly, I mean thoroughly, especially if you’re buying from the farmer’s market. I often find a little critter in my greens, and although he might be cute, I do not want to eat a baby caterpillar, because a) he’s just too cute, and b) I don’t know how one cooks a caterpillar in the first place. On top of that, leafy greens can carry bacteria that are not so fun for your stomach, regardless of whether you buy them at the grocery store or the farmer’s market. In sum: if this paragraph was hit country song, it would be titled ‘Save a Caterpillar, Wash Your Greens.’ And it wouldn’t be a hit.

Now that your greens are washed, let them dry on a towel or give them a good shake in the strainer. It’s important that they be as dry as possible before they go into the pan. But don’t worry, there’s time for that to happen while you prepare the other ingredients. Get a large pan going on medium-low heat with some olive oil. While the pan is heating up, get to slicing on the shallots, nothing too thin.
Put the shallots in the pan and let them start to break down. Grab the apple: cut it in half, eat one half (optional), then cut the remaining half into quarters. Remove the core that’s left on each piece and slice thinly.

Put the apple slices in with the shallots, and let them hangout. Throw in the dill (if fresh, throw it on at the end), a few grinds of black pepper, and after a couple of minutes, add the dijon mustard and stir it in as best as possible, trying to coat the apple slices evenly.
Once the apples have surrendered a bit, lower the heat just a tad. You don’t want the apples to become too soft before you add the greens in, otherwise they’ll be mush by the time the greens are finished cooking. Chop the mustard greens into big pieces, then pile them over the top of the apples.
Add the splash of vinegar and gently fold the mustard greens into the apples and shallots. Once the bottom of the pile begins to wilt (after 1-2 minutes), fold the greens in once again, so that the leaves on the top of the pile get a turn closer to the heat, and thus will cook evenly (you will need to do this in a couple of batches). Add salt. The greens really do not need much time to cook, as they are pretty sensitive to the heat. Look for when they have wilted down, but, colorwise, are still holding on to their brightness–then they’re ready to serve!

Enjoy, and happy holidays!


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