Summary: I've come clean about my addiction to leafy greens- Kale? Sure! Collards? Most definitely! Mustard greens? Grew up on 'em. Arugula, turnip greens, lettuces of all stripes... I've never met one I didn't love. And in the midst of winter, I also enjoy a warm lunch salad. For this, sturdy greens make a great base. I bought a gleaming bunch of mustard greens recently- they were so fresh and healthy that they appeared to be lit from inside. As I got out my trusty Lodge pan and gently warmed some oil and garlic, I was reminded of another dish that I simply adore: my mom's tomatoes Provencal. At that point I knew I simply had to merge the two ideas into one and what emerged from my skillet was this warm, slowly cooked, fragrant dish. You can also make this with kale, preferably Lacinato.
Yield: serves 1-2
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced lemon (skin and all but no seeds)
- 1 bunch fresh mustard greens, washed, thick center ribs removed, leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 10-12 grape tomatoes, washed
- 2 tablespoons fresh, fine breadcrumbs
- freshly ground black pepper
In a cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium-low heat, warm a quarter-cup of your olive oil. When warm, add the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and minced lemon. Stir to coat the garlic and lemon evenly with the oil and cook several minutes until softened and fragrant. Don't let the garlic brown.
Add the mustard greens and toss gently to combine with the garlic-lemon oil. Add the remaining olive oil and salt as well as the tomatoes. Increase the heat to medium and continue to stir regularly. You want to ensure that the greens are cooking down at an even clip. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper over the top and keep stirring.
When the greens look nicely wilted and oil-slicked, push then and the tomatoes to one side of the skillet and add the breadcrumbs to the empty side. You should have enough residual oil/juice to brown the crumbs but if not, another small drizzle of olive oil can't hurt. Stir the breadcrumbs regularly until they've crisped up, 2-4 minutes.
Using tongs or the spoon you've been cooking with, remove the greens and tomatoes (and of course all lemon and garlic that's not melted into the greens) to a bowl. Use a spoon to sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Serve immediately!