“Cool weather is greens weather, and we like to eat these greens on special occasions,” says Jerome, whose family has stewarded this variety for nearly 100 years on the same farm near Shiloh in rural Marion County, Florida.
“A popular menu is to serve them with sweet potatoes and ham, and we always have hot vinegar sauce on hand for the greens.”
Serves about 4
Harvest leaves when you can’t wait any longer.
Wash greens twice. Strip greens from midrib and tear or cut into small pieces. (You may cut stems into small pieces and cook separately. Stems will have the consistency of cooked celery.)
Put 4-6 pieces of smoked bacon or other smoked meat for seasoning into a six-quart pot. Add one quart of water, bring to boil, and lower to medium heat for 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Add greens to water a few pieces at a time. As they wilt, stir and add more greens. Bring to a boil, then lower to a slow simmer.
Cover and cook until greens achieve the tenderness and flavor you desire. (About an hour if you want the greens to take on plenty of the bacon flavor.)
Drain, avoiding mashing the greens in the process, and serve.