Greens used to be considered rather poor fare and eating them was more of a duty than a pleasure. Some of us are old enough to remember the grim edict: ‘Eat your greens or you’ll grow up spotty,’ or worse, ‘You’ll sit there ‘til they’re all gone.’ Greens are characterized by rather coarse leaves, strong ribs and a slightly bitter taste which you either love or loathe. Spring greens usually refers to cabbages which have not formed a massed centre of closely packed leaves, the heart.
Start by throwing away the outer leaves, then cut off the basal stalks of the remainder and wash them. Bring a big pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the leaves in it for 3 minutes. Remove them and plunge them immediately into very cold water to arrest the cooking.
You can now finish the leaves in a pan with butter, grating over
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.