I. Sauteed Greens, a simple easy side that is cheap, healthy, and easy. I chose it from the list of Appetizers and Sides from "Cooking for Geeks". The recipe was simple only calling for a hearty leafy green and some oil. My version builds upon that basic premise. The science involved is simple: conduction from the pan into the vegetables and the wilting, the loss of rigidity in non-woody plants due to diminished water in cells.
II. Sauteed Cabbage with Bacon and Lemon
- Roughly half a head of cabbage, chiffonade (here I am using a Taiwanese variety.)
- 2 slices of bacon, cut into lardons
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- juice of about half a lemon (to taste)
- sugar (to taste)
- 3 sprigs lemon thyme
- a few sprigs of flat leaf parsley
- red chili flakes
- Add bacon to a pan and heat on medium. Starting the bacon in a cold pan will help render the fat out, which we will use to cook the cabbage. Once bacon is crisp, reserve the lardons and pour out excess fat (leaving enough to cooking the greens).
- Saute garlic (and if using, add lemon thyme and red chili flakes now) until very light golden.
- Add in the cabbage, and season with salt and pepper (the salt helps to break down the cabbage, but be careful not to over-season since the bacon is salty).
- Once the cabbage is almost done to your liking, taste and correct for seasoning. Add in some sugar if the cabbage didn't have much natural sweetness. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of parsley. (adding the parsley at the last minute preserves the freshness).
- Place greens on plate and garnish with lardons.
I really wish I had some red chili flakes to add to the dish, but overall it went well. This recipe is somewhat of a hodgepodge in that it uses an Asian cabbage, American bacon, but has somewhat of a Mediterranean taste profile. Pancetta may be more appropriate but I like the smokiness of bacon (plus its way cheaper than its Italian counterpart). Next time I do this I'd like to try a Latin American version of this dish, perhaps using dried chilies and leftover carnitas.
IV. Recipe adapted from "Cooking for Geeks"
- Potter, J. (2010). Cooking for geeks: real science, great hacks, and good food (p. 198). O'Reilly.
(and one with my ugly mug.)
Thumbs up for Cabbage!