Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Caldo Verde & Broa

Photo via Garden Guy Hawaii
The greens that were in this week's box that you likely didn't recognize are Brassica oleracea var. costata, commonly known as Portuguese cabbage or kale.  You can use them like any other Brassica, such as collard greens or kale.  (Here are some ideas from a while ago.)

This is, however, a component of the national dish of Portugal.  You can also find it quite a bit around the Cape Cod area, which has a large Portuguese community.  It's a soup made from these leafy greens, onion, potato, and chicken stock.  (I'm sure we all still have some potatoes left over, right?)  Traditionally it's eaten with Broa, which is a yeast-based cornbread with wheat or rye flour added as well.  Here's my recipe for Caldo Verde:

Photo via Williams Sonoma
Caldo Verde

  • 8 ounces mild chorizo or Linguiça sausage
  • 3/4 lb. Portuguese cabbage
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably unsalted
  • 1 cup water
  • salt & pepper
  • ham hock (optional)

  1. In a soup pot, warm the oil over medium heat and then sauté the onions until translucent, 10 minutes or so.  Add the potatoes and garlic, sauté 5 minutes more.  Add the water and stock, 2 tsp. salt, ham hock if using and the potatoes.  Simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
  2. Slice the sausages into bite-sized pieces, and boil them in water for 5 minutes.  Discard the water.
  3. Remove about half the potatoes and mash them.  Return to the pot, add the sausage, and continue to simmer until the sausages are cooked, 5 minutes more.
  4. Rinse the cabbage and slice the sides away from the tough center stems.  Stack the leaves together and roll lengthwise into a tight bundle, and slice (chiffonade) into very thin strips.  The longer pieces can be cut in half.
  5. Add the greens to the soup and simmer just until they are green and still a little crisp, 5 minutes.  Do not overcook the greens.
  6. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve, drizzling a little extra-virgin olive oil over the bowls of soup.
Adapted from this recipe from Williams Sonoma.

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