Greens Braised with Ginger, Cilantro, and Rice

serves 4-6

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook “Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmer’s Markets” by Deborah Madison (2002, Broadway).  You can use any variety of greens – mustard greens, chard, beet greens, turnip greens, etc. – depending on what you have on hand and what kind of flavor you want.

2 big bunches of greens
3 TBS vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
¼ cup cooked white rice
2 TBS finely chopped ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 cup chopped cilantro stems and leaves
sea salt
plain yogurt or lemon wedges

Wash the greens well, then chop, but don’t dry them.  Heat oil in a wide heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, rice, ginger, cumin, and paprika.  Stir to coat with the oil.  Cook for 2 minutes, then add the cilantro and the greens.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, cover the pan, and cook until the volume has reduced, about 10 10 15 minutes.  Give everything a stir, then reduce the heat to low, re-cover, and cook slowly for 20 minutes.  There should be ample moisture in the pot, but check once or twice to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom.  If the pan seems dry, ad a few TBS of water.  Cook until the greens are really tender, about 10-15 minutes more.  Serve warm or at room temperature, with yogurt spooned over the top or with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

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