Sunday, February 26, 2017

Portuguese Sautéed Collard Greens

Here's the last recipe from my Portuguese dinner that I kept forgetting to post. It's interesting to me that the Portuguese cook their greens very similar to the way that the Chinese do, mainly stir fried in a small amount of oil - the difference being that the Portuguese use Olive Oil - with Garlic and some broth to steam the vegetables soft.  Perhaps this was part of the cultural exchange when Portuguese sailors visited China, but who knows? All I know is that Collard Greens are wonderful when sautéed briefly. They still taste good when they are cooked for a long time, but when cooked for a short time, they retain their lovely green color and have more texture. Collard Greens are the closest vegetable I could find to their cabbage and this dish was served at nearly every meal that I had in Portugal. I've heard that they are often sold at markets already cut and that they even have a machine to cut them thinly. I thought it was fun to slice them thin and they cook really fast. This is a simple recipe that makes Collard Greens taste absolutely delicious!

Portuguese Sautéed Collard Greens

1 bunch Collard Greens, washed
2 large Garlic Cloves, chopped.  
2  - 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup Chicken Broth (or Vegetable Broth)
3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts

Cut the Collard Greens away from the stem. Then, roll them up like a cigar and slice them very thin. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat.  Pour in the Olive Oil and add the Garlic. Cook until the Garlic just begins to brown. Then add in the Collard Green shreds. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes.  Then add in the Broth and cook for an additional 3 - 5 minutes. Remove to a serving plate and sprinkle with the Pine Nuts.

Five Element Analysis

Collard Greens are clearly part of the Wood Element and the Chicken Broth and Olive Oil add even more Wood, but this fast way of sautéing is a Fire method of cooking so that element is also present.The Garlic brings in a little bit of the Metal Element and the Pine Nuts contribute a small amount of the Water Element. The Earth Element is missing, which is why this dish is so good with the Cod Fritters and Tomato Rice, as the Fritters are made with Fish and Potato and Onion - Water, Earth and Metal and the Tomato Rice represents Fire with the Tomatoes and Metal with the Rice. That combination is a perfectly balanced Five Element meal!

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