Last week I bought a bag of Southern Greens Blend at Trader Joes. It contained Mustard, Turnip, Collards & Spinach. There was a recipe on the back that involved Andouille. With some fresh hot cornbread, I thought it would be nice to have a old fashioned Southern meal.
When I got home, I discovered that we had used the Andouille I thought I had in the freezer, and I didn't have any cornmeal either. So I stuck the bag in the fridge and fixed Pasta Puttanesca for dinner instead.
This morning I realized that the greens were going to go bad if I didn't use them, so I began to improvise.
I substituted mild Italian sausage (heavy on the fennel) for the Andouille. And I sliced up some polenta instead of making cornbread. The recipe called for chicken broth, but I had an open box of vegetable stock in the fridge I wanted to use up. Plus, to brighten the flavor of the greens I thought a little lemon would be a good addition.
I didn't have a single fresh lemon, so I used some limoncello. What the heck, the alcohol would cook off anyway, right?
First I softened some chopped red onion and garlic in olive oil. Then added chunks of Italian sausage to brown.
Then I added the full bag of greens, Two cups vegetable broth, and 1/8 cup limoncello.
I let it cook down enough to be able to toss it without throwing greens all over the stove. After tossing the ingredients, I continued to let it simmer on low for another 30 minutes or so.
While the greens were cooking, I sliced the polenta, fried it in a little butter and olive oil with a touch of salt and pepper. Then drained the polenta slices on paper towels and transfered them to a parchment lined cookie sheet. I stuck them under the broiler until they were slightly brown, turned them and sprinkled with finely grated pecorino romano cheese before broiling again.
We enjoyed the combination of bitter southern greens, sweet Italian sausage and polenta with a glass of A Mano. A very satisfying and unusual fusion of flavors from the deep south of my two favorite countries!