What a weekend! My little brother graduated from high school AND turned 18 all in about three days time. That's a little much for a big sister to handle all at once. After that turbulence, I decided I wanted to eat something a little bit fresh, a little bit simple, and more than a little bit tasty.
If you're feeling a little out of sorts like I was, just stare real intently at some rainbow chard. I found the most beautiful bunches at the market and when I got home, I just looked at them for a while. Fuchsia veggies...come on!
The prospect of these 'greens' immediately transported me back to my first day as a waitress at Cracker Barrel (I had only recently crossed the Mason-Dixon Line at that point). In a drawl thick as an oil (ohl) spill, a customer requested some beans 'n greens with vinegar on the side. I believe I questioned my migration South at that point. It has taken about seven years for the trauma to subside and just this week I made my own version of beans 'n greens.
Yankee Beans & Greens
If you're feeling sassy, this looks like a great recipe for homemade baked beans (just omit the bacon!).
For the Greens:
2 bunches of rainbow chard
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
Salt & pepper to taste
Red wine vinegar to taste
1. Wash the greens well. Remove and discard (aka compost!) the stems. Trim away thick mid-ribs from the leaves. Discard them or slice thinly and use. Chop leaves coarsely.
2. Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until golden. Add the greens, cover, and steam until tender. (If you decide to use other kinds of greens like kale or collards, you will need to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to keep moist and steam longer, about 10 to 15 min.) Allow 3-5 min to steam chard.
3. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar.
For the Beans:
I just used a large can of vegetarian baked beans. Put them in a small sauce pan and heat through on the stove. The special part about the beans is what you serve them on:
Hearty Whole Grain Cornbread Muffins (makes 12)
A lot of the corn muffins I've tasted are too sweet, especially to be served with baked beans. This is my tweaked recipe with less sugar. If you like your cornbread sweet (like Jiffy), add up to 1/2 cup of sugar.
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup milk
3 tbsp butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg. Beat in the milk and the butter until completely combined.
4. Using a wooden spoon, stir liquid into dry ingredients until just moistened. (Don't mix too much or the muffins will have tunnels).
5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 18-22 min or until lightly browned on the top. My muffin pan is non-stick so mine usually cook up by 12 - 15 min.
Get cookin with this summery comfort food. What do you think about greens? Are they too bitter for you? Do you like your corn muffins sweet or not? I want to know what's going on in those heads of yours out there in the blogosphere.