I abhor waste. That's the thing to know about how this recipe came to be.
Because I abhor waste, I keep a large Ziploc bag in my freezer to hold vegetable scraps (onion skins, tomato cores, stems and peelings of various stripes) that I use to make stock.
But during CSA season, that bag fills up so so so so so fast. And then I panic, because I have a nervous constitution. So it came to pass that one week, when faced with the very lovely looking green stalks on the very lovely onions that keep turning up in the CSA, I decided to cook with them rather than to add them to the already very full bag of trimmings in the freezer.
That turned out to be a grand idea.
Since those stalks were both green and somewhat leaf-y in texture I decided to cook them into a giant pot of greens, which in the case of the mess you see above included collards, beet greens and rainbow chard (stems included because I like them and also they're so pretty!) To make the mess even more messy and delicious, I also tossed in a can of black eyed peas.
Here's the method I used:
In a large pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Dice the onion stalks into 1/2-1 inch pieces and toss 'em in the oil. If you're using the stems from the rainbow chard cut them into similarly sized pieces and add them to the pot with the onion stalks. Let those things cook together for 3 or so minutes until they start to soften up a bit, then crush 2-3 large cloves of garlic into the pot, stirring well until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Next add all of your greens, which (other than the chard) should be de-stemmed and chopped into large pieces. If you prefer a finer green, you can cut them into ribbons. That is just fine and a matter of personal choice—adjust the cooking time as needed. Along with the greens, pour in one cup of vegetable stock or water and a 15 oz. can of black eyed peas (drained and rinsed). Put the lid on the pot. Cook until the greens are just wilted, about 10 minutes, then remove the lid and reduce the heat to low.
Now it's time to season these babies up. Salt and red and/or black pepper to taste is a good place to start. Depending on my mood sometimes I'll add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke. A splash of red wine vinegar is also quite nice. Once you've seasoned the mess to your liking, allow the greens to simmer for 30 minutes.
This is a super forgiving recipe that can be done with almost any kind of green and any sort of bean you like, which is great when it comes to quelling the dreaded CSA panic.