Saturday, September 5, 2015

Roasted Collards with Chorizo and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

This week at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to summer produce from Good Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm, pastured meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm, and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company.

The season's bounty is reaching its height of outrageous beauty, like these blush tomatoes and purple tomatillos. With produce this pretty, it seemed a shame to roast the tomatillos for my usual salsa, so I blended them up fresh with cilantro and a hot pepper.

Even as the produce is reaching its peak, the days are getting cooler, and it's not hard to justify turning on the oven. For less glamorous looking collard greens, I made a version of these pot-roasted collard greens with chorizo. Cooked for an hour in a low oven, the collards' flavors soften and deepen, the onions melt into a sweet jam, and the chorizo infuse the dish with a decadent richness.

Layered on top of tender Lonesome Whistle Farm beans, these rich collards made a delicious bed for a fried Fair Valley Farm egg, topped with the bright notes of the fresh tomatillo salsa and slices of blush tomatoes to make the plate outrageously pretty.

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
1 pint tomatillos
1 small jalapeño or other spicy pepper
1 handful cilantro leaves
1 pinch salt

Hull and rinse the tomatillos. Halve them and toss them in a food processor. Halve and seed the jalapeño and add it to the food processor along with the cilantro and salt. Pulse to chop into a salsa of the desired coarseness. Reserve.

Roasted Collards with Chorizo
1 large bunch collard greens
1 medium onion
2 chorizo sausages (about 5 ounces)
2 Tbsp canola oil
salt to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Rinse the collard leaves, cut out the stems, and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch strips. Peel and dice the onion. Cut the sausages into quarters lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/2 inch chunks.

2. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot with a lid, such as a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the oil, the onions, and a pinch of salt, and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the sausage pieces and continue cooking until the onions are very soft. Add the collard green strips and stir to coat in the oils. Place the lid on the pot and transfer to the oven. 

3. Cook for about an hour until the contents are deeply roasted and caramelized. Stir, taste, and add more salt if needed. Cover until ready to serve.

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