My recent posts about Aleppo and Aleppo oil have nothing to do with Gary Johnson’s now famous statement, “What’s an Aleppo.” Rather, they are about a wonderful taste treat you might like. I’ve been using Aleppo oil I make myself. My daughter sprinkles crushed Aleppo peppers on salads. It is versatile and mighty good.
This recipe uses braising or what the author called “the cooked to hell” method of tenderizing fennel, Tuscan kale and broccoli rabe. It takes some prep work and simmering time, but is well worth the effort.
Braised Greens With Aleppo Oil And Feta
The creator of this recipe called braising the vegetables the “cooked to hell” method, for making the greens meltingly tender. If you can’t find Aleppo, use 1½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes instead. Aleppo pepper will me more mild than the red pepper flakes in my opinion.
SERVINGS: 8 – the recipe is easily halved.
½ cup olive oil, divided
1 large fennel bulb, cored, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bunches Tuscan kale, tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough stems removed, large clusters separated into smaller pieces
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 ounces feta cheese, broken into large pieces
Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned around the edges, 5–8 minutes. Add onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and just beginning to brown, 5–8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add kale and broccoli rabe to the pot a handful at a time, tossing to wilt after each addition before adding more. Stir in red pepper flakes; season with salt. Add 3 cups water and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat and cook, partially covered, until greens are very tender, 35–45 minutes.
While greens simmer, make Aleppo oil. Bring Aleppo pepper, paprika, and remaining ¼ cup oil to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat, swirling often, about 1 minute, let cool.
Add lemon zest and lemon juice to greens; taste and season with more salt.Transfer to a serving platter along with some of the braising liquid and top with feta. Drizzle with Aleppo oil.
Coat lamb chops with lemon juice, sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and pepper. Pat dried oregano leaves onto chops’ surface so they will stick to the lemon juice. Bake at 400º for two to three minutes a side until an internal temp of 145º is reached for medium rare or 160º for medium. Tent and rest for five minutes before serving.