Chard, Amaranth and Lambsquarter Greens

I’m starting to find that bringing constant, new content to this site during the summer months is going to be difficult. Not only is my family much busier, but I find myself falling back on the same, tried-and-true meals as the summer heat kicks in – and they almost all include grilling. Since many of the dishes I love to grill are already on the site, I’m caught in a bit of a predicament.

Luckily, we signed up for a vegetable CSA share through a local farm which means that we’ve been getting all sorts of unexpected and new veggies every week. This basically requires me to find out more about each vegetable we get, and to research recipes to boot. This is one such recipe, although the same method can be applied to traditional greens (collard, mustard, turnip, etc).

You’ll Need:
5-10 cups of fresh greens, cut into 1″ strips
6-8oz raw bacon (uncured preferred), cut into 1″ strips
1 cup chicken or ham stock/broth
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, chopped (or one garlic scape, chopped – which is what I used)

While chard looks like a typical green, amaranth and lambsquarter look like straight-up weeds. I had read that they should be cooked like regular greens, so I gave it a shot against my better judgement. They turned out just great, and have made me see weeds in a whole new light. As with any greens recipe, you’ll want to wash the greens thoroughly and cut away any large pieces of stalk.

This week’s veggies also came with garlic scapes, which are the stalks of garlic – they can be used in pesto or as a milder form of garlic. I decided to use of them instead of garlic, but it definitely wasn’t necessary.

Traditionally, greens are good with smoked ham hocks, turkey wings or neck bones. We didn’t have any on hand (not that we ever do, really) but I had read that bacon can work in a pinch. Considering that just about everyone has (or should have) bacon in their fridge, I thought that was a better choice for the convenience factor alone. Chop the bacon into 1″ strips as you see above.

In a large pot, fry the bacon on medium heat until it is just about done. Add the garlic at the last minute of cooking.

Next, add the greens, chicken broth, vinegar, and chili flakes, tossing with tongs until the greens are well coated with the broth/grease combo. Lower the heat to low, cover and simmer until the leaves are dark but not mushy, about 40 minutes.

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