The frost has left the ground, the daffodils, hyacinths and forsythia are all in bloom BUT we’re still a ways from seeing any of the grand summer fruits and vegetables. :(
What to do when you’re hungering for some greens and a hot meal on a cool (almost cold) night? I adapted this recipe from one I saw in the NY Times. I dumbed it down a bit for myself to make it easier and quicker and it worked just fine. It has the warm triumvirate of Tunisian spices – coriander, cumin and caraway.
COLLARD GREENS TAGINE WITH FLAGEOLETS
1 15oz can of small white beans
1 large onion
4 large garlic cloves; 2 crushed, 2 minced
1 tsp of coriander seeds ( I used crushed)
1 tsp of caraway seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds ( I used crushed)
2 TBS EV olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, cored, diced, fronds chopped and reserved for garnish
Salt to taste
1 tsp paprika or Aleppo pepper
1 lg jalapeno, minced (about 2 TBS)* I substituted harissa sauce which I had in refrigerator
2 TBS tomato paste ( I put the rest of the can in a small plastic bag, flattened it and put in freezer)
1# (large bunch) Collard greens ( I used pre-washed and cut bag)
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped – about 1 cup and some for garnish
2 TBS minced preserved lemon (optional)
Cooked grains or couscous for serving (optional)
Cut onion in half; cut one of the halves in half and chop the rest. Set aside chopped onion and put the quarters in a pot with the drained beans. Add 5 cups of water (6 if serving over grains) and the crushed garlic and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Let simmer for about 30 minutes and remove garlic and onion and discard.
Meanwhile in small skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, toast corriander, cumin and caraway seeds together just till they begin to release their aroma, 2-3 minutes. * I only put the caraway seeds in the pan. Transfer to spice mill. * I didn’t have my spice mill so I smashed the seeds with a hammer. Put aside.
Heat oil over medium heat in large heavy skillet (I used my braising pan) and add remaining onion. Cook stirring till tender, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, diced fennel and generous pinch of salt and cook another 5 minutes, until fennel has softened slightly. Stir into beans* (since I was using braising pan, I added the beans and liquid to the braising pan). Add the ground spices, paprika, jalepeno if using or your substitute, and tomato paste and return to simmer. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Meanwhile, stem and wash collard greens (so much easier to use bagged) Cut into 1/2″ strips. If you have bought bagged and cut, then just slice in some semblance of strips. Add collards to beans and vegetables. Bring back to a simmer and cover and simmer 15-30 minutes until greens are tender. Stir in cilantro and chopped fennel fronds, simmer another 5 minutes.
**Ladle into wide soup bowls and if using preserved lemon, place a a tsp on each serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro and fennel and serve. I cooked some farro and put a portion in the bottom of the bowl before adding the stew. Or you can serve grains on the side.
Recipe from Martha Rose Schulman – NY Times