This is probably my favorite recipe in this book. I was so proud of myself for turning a mundane side dish, braised greens, into a dish with complex and delicious flavors. Inspired by smoor tomatoes and onions – a traditional South African dish eaten as a sauce, relish or side dish – I caramelize the onions, then sauté them with tomato paste. I top slow-braised mustard greens with this mixture and finish it off with chopped jalapeños and hot pepper vinegar. Hot, salty and sweet, this dish is everything a side dish of greens in a potlikker should be.
For the greens:
To prepare the greens, put about 12 cups of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt, then add the greens and their stems and cook uncovered until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté until garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in greens and broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.
For the onions:
Meanwhile, prepare the onions. Heat the oil in a separate large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and sugar, and sauté until golden and fairly soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and water and cook, stirring often, until onions are well coated and hot, about 3 minutes.
Divide the greens with some of their liquid into small bowls. Garnish with onions, sprinkle with jalapeño and drizzle with hot pepper vinegar.
Reprinted with permission from “Afro-Vegan” by Bryant Terry, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography © 2014 by Paige Green.