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An humble plate of turnip greens

March 8, 2011

Back in September, Mrs cohutt declared she didn’t really like turnip greens. About 6 seconds earlier I had entered to declare what new seeds I had just plnated in a little spot between the fence and a garden bed.

In her defense I wasn’t really a fan of most of the turnip greens I had consumed up to that point either. Neither of us had ever cooked any ourselves and certainly hadn’t grown any, so these greens were going to be an experiment based solely on the faith we might be able to make them edible.

So how’d it go?

A few months and a dozen or so turnip green based meals later, we have changed our opinion.

Growing them is easier that growing crabgrass. I used some or other mix (Seven Greens?) that produces nice tops and no root; I dumped out a single seed pack (too densely) in 3 or4 short rows (that were too close to each other) in the small spot that had Bush Limas during the summer. After what seemed to be 10 or 15 minutes later they were ALL sprouted and I never bothered to thin them. (Actually I think they sprouted within 48 hours.)

Hardy? Resilient? Sure, this is what they looked like after being covered with 6 inches of snow for about 5 days back in late January:

And now after having a couple huge batches cut from the center a week ago, this is what the little patch is looking like this spring:

Our standard greens meal is now occurs about once a week on “grits and greens” night. It is pretty simple:
Cut greens, pick and strip large stems form them.
Boil water
Chop greens
Dump chopped greens in boiling water
5 minutes later, dump greens in a colander, rinse with cold water and let drain
While all the green boiling is going on, saute one or two slices of bacon in a large frying pan, remove and crumble.
Once the greens have drained a bit, put them in the “well lubed” frying pan with the bacon crumbles.
Roll them around some, saute them until the greens and bacon crisps “have become one”
Mix up some grits, add some cheese at the end, we prefer sharp cheddar
Make a Christmas wreath of greens on a plate, overfill the center with hot cheezie grits

A sample from the archives:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bruce permalink
    March 9, 2011 7:57 am

    I usually toss a ham hock or two in a pan to brown a little. Add some water and simmer until the hock tender. Toss in the greens and simmer till done. Pull the hock and pick the meat off and add it back to the greens. Sometimes I’ll add some chopped onions and saute in the hock fat. I like a few shakes of Texas Pete’s vinegar sauce on my greens.

    • March 10, 2011 7:01 am

      Thanks, I see a lot of recipes (of the traditional deep south kind) similar to yours; the ham hock is the most mentioned meat/fat addition.
      I guess we have gravitated to bacon out of convenience (usually keep a little handy for poppers now) and cheapness (a slice or two of bacon costs a quarter, a ham hock costs what, $2.00? lol).

  2. March 9, 2011 11:56 am

    Dang, those look good. I am totally going to have to try that recipe with my collards.

  3. Clay permalink
    March 10, 2011 8:15 am

    It’s hard to beat fresh greens. Not surprised that y’all have become fans. Those grits and greens look great!

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