Friday, May 18, 2007

Accidental Chinese Collards

Last year's collards had already flowered and were forming seed pods. That's how far behind I'd gotten is some of my gardening.

I'd been meaning to pull those collards and seed the area with beets. Today broke sunny but cool. So I beat a path to the collard patch, never imagining I would find anything edible there.

But the garden holds surprises. Removing several of the larger plants revealed one beautifully lush and leafy fellow who had not bolted at all. I could not bear to just throw this stately greenery into the compost heap. I decided to eat it instead.

But how?

I turned to the simplest preparation I know, which it to simmer the greens in a pot of salted water. I let them cook for about 20 minutes until they were soft but not mushy.

Still, I yearned to eat my collards some other way than just plane. I opened to fridge to see what might go well with collards and there I found two little to-go boxes of Chinese food from lunch at the Full Kee restaurant.

There was just enough left-over fried rice, and a half-portion of mixed seafood with tofu. I drained the collards, seasoned them with some rice vinegar and five spice powder on the cutting board. I gave the greens a little chop, then tossed them into my cook pot with the leftovers.

Within a minute or two, I had a satisfying lunch and the excellent feeling that I could carry on the day knowing I had not wasted a perfectly good collard plant.

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