Eddie Hernandez from Taqueria del Soul made Eddie’s Turnip Greens from his new cookbook, Turnip Greens and Tortillas. (see recipe below) Meet Eddie at a book signing tonight April 24 at Parnassus Books in Green Hills at 6:30 pm. He's also doing events at the two Taqueria del Sol restaurants from 5:30pm - 8:00pm - Wednesday at the 12 South store, and Thursday at the Charlotte Avenue store. For more information, visit www.taqueriadelsol.com .
Eddie’s Turnip Greens
Makes 6 servings
In Mexico we ate our share of leafy greens—mostly cooked instead of raw in salads. Spinach and chard were both popular. Lamb’s quarters, amaranth leaves, squash vines, and beet greens have been important sources of nourishment in Mexico since ancient times and still are, especially among the poor. We cook the turnip greens on the Taqueria del Sol menu much the way my family used to fix lamb’s quarters—we knew them as quelites—in chicken stock flavored with tomatoes and spices instead of in stock seasoned with ham hock. But we do serve them in bowls with the “potlikker” they are cooked in, which is also common in Southern restaurants. They are equally good with tortillas or corn bread. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that this little soup I concocted nearly thirty years ago would create such a sensation, but I am very glad that it did.
1 pound cleaned, stemmed, and chopped turnip greens
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
²∕³ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ground chile de árbol or cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1¼ cups diced tomatoes
2½ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (page 99)
1. Place the greens in a large pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until just tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
2. Wipe out the pot and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and chile de árbol and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cooked greens and chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until very tender. Taste and add salt as desired. Serve in bowls with the liquid, like a soup.
EDDIE’S TURNIP GREENS is excerpted from TURNIP GREENS AND TORTILLAS © 2018 by Eddie Hernandez with Susan Puckett. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.