The Bon Appétit website has a feature called Cooking Without a Recipe that I enjoy very much. I’ve even purloined the idea with a blog category I call Play With Your Food – Cooking Without a Recipe. BA Test Kitchen Manager Brad Leone recently shared a quick supper treat I really enjoyed. I’ve copied his description of making this hearty meal below and put his words in quotes. His greens and sausage seems more like a Dinner at the Doublewide than a New York City meal!
Crispy Sausage and Greens
“Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the stems from one bunch of Tuscan kale and tear the leaves into 1″ pieces (mustard greens, collards, spinach, and chard are great, too).
“Coarsely chop half a head of green cabbage. Combine the greens in a large baking dish and add 4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic. Adding some sliced onions and shiitake mushrooms at this point is optional, but highly recommended (I’ll sauté the onions and mushrooms in a cast iron baking dish right on the stove before adding to the greens).
“Coat the greens with some olive oil and pour ½ cup chicken stock or broth over everything. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the greens are wilted, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and season with salt and pepper. Continue to bake until cabbage is tender, about 20-25 minutes more.
“Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Prick four sweet Italian sausages with a fork and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. When the greens are done, slice the sausage and toss into the greens with a splash of your favorite vinegar (I like sherry or red wine).”
Combining bitter greens and cabbage was a g00d idea for flavor and texture. The addition of a shot of vinegar balanced the greens. Since there was no “recipe” I had to add my own touch to the meal. Taking advantage of the scant pan drippings from the sweet Italian sausage to sautéd some chopped onion and new potato coins to serve as a side for the sausage and greens. Per Mr. Leone, I used mustard greens and sherry vinegar. At the table, I splashed some Frank’s Red Hot Sauce on the greens for a little extra kick. We always had hot sauce on our greens growing ups so it seemed the right thing to do.