Wilted Greens

Contrary to popular belief, Southerners don’t always “cook vegetables to death”. Here in the South, we have always enjoyed a wide variety of vegetables either raw or lightly cooked as in this recipe, which has been prepared in Dixie kitchens long before the word “Dixie” came into use, and is a signature dish not only of our region, but in variations across the globe.

Use the freshest mustards, turnips, kale/collards, or spinach. Wash thoroughly, shake well, strip stems, shred, and drain. For a half-gallon of greens, fry six to eight slices of bacon until very crisp. Remove bacon, add another quarter cup of corn oil, reheat the oil, add about a half cup of vinegar, and a tablespoon or so of a thin red pepper sauce. I like Crystal. Add a teaspoon of sugar, and let this cook down by about a third. Place drained greens in a large bowl or pan, pour the hot oil/vinegar mixture over the greens, and toss vigorously with plenty of salt and black pepper. Top with thinly sliced white onions, crumbled bacon, and chopped boiled egg. Sprinkle with more black pepper; serve with a bowl of pintos.

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