Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Worth Doing Twice

A few nights ago I tried a new dish that I was truly excited about.  I had known at the moment I read the title to the recipe that I would be making it soon.  I commented on the blog where I found it saying just that--and I am usually, I confess, more prone to lurking then commenting. I was so into it that I even took a still life photo of the ingredients like a good blogger. I was all about this dish.

By now you're probably wondering what wonderful recipe could so captivate me, so immediately motivate me. Well, I'll tell you: Winter Greens with Smoked Paprika and Almonds.

What? You don't find that thrilling? 

Listen, people, we all need to eat our greens. You know it. I know it. The problem is finding delicious ways to do it.  I've learned to appreciate their deep flavor and pleasant bitterness myself, but I never mind a snazzy new way to prepare them, especially one involving smokiness. (I like smoky.)

Also, I had recently discovered smoked paprika in my spice cupboard that I had no memory of buying but didn't want to leave without purpose.  This experiment was a done deal.

So I cooked up the aggrandized greens and ate them happily, forecasting my rapturous post about this health sustaining food that was so darkly, smokily, pungently good. 

Then I cleared the table and saw the sherry vinegar still sitting on the counter.  I had forgotten to put in one of the ingredients!  No matter, I told myself.  I loved them greens without it.  I just needed the beauty shot.

Then I accidentally knocked the remaining photographable greens in the floor when I turned to get the camera.  

Don't think that I didn't consider picking them up and taking the picture anyway, because I did consider it.  But we have a cat.  I was taking no chance of being the blogger caught snapping greens with a cat hair garnish. I let it go for that night.

But they were so good that I shortly bought more greens and tried again, using all the ingredients and getting the glamour shot this time. This dish was so worth telling you about that it was worth making twice.

While I was glad to have made an accurate sample of the recipe, I actually liked it better without the vinegar that I so thoroughly included the second time.  (As I said, I like smoky. Sometimes straight up.) The other real grown up at the table (the 17-year-old predictably abstained) felt differently.  So guess, what?  They're good either way.  You can't lose. 

Frankly, any good greens recipe is worth making more than twice. 

Winter Greens with Smoked Paprika and Almonds

from Pink of Perfection
Serves 4

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
2 large garlic gloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 pounds greens, chopped (I used collards)
1/4 cup water
1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add almonds.  Stir until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add garlic and paprika.  Sprinkle with coarse salt; saute 1 minute.  Transfer to small bowl.  Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to skillet.  Add greens; sprinkle with coarse salt.  Add water.  Cover and cook until crisp-tender and still bright green, about 4 minutes.  Pour off any water.  Stir in almond mixture.  Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper.  Mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons vinegar.  Transfer to bowl and serve.

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