There’s a reason why the humble BLT sandwich works so well; it’s got a little bit of everything without going overboard. It’s not about one ingredient, but how it all comes together with the salty/smoky/crispy bacon, sweet ripe tomatoes that drip down your chin and fresh vegetal crunch of lettuce all on toasted sourdough with a smear of mayo (extra thick smear if you're my dad).
This silky side dish takes a cue from the good ol’ BLT, no need to reinvent the wheel here. Trade the delicate lettuce for sturdy collard greens and melt some creamy bleu cheese into a sauce; toss a few cherry tomato halves in at the last minute to keep their shape and then throw in a crumble of bacon if you’re into that sort of thing.
Serve it up hot to your dad with a perfectly juicy, medium rare steak. He deserves it after making you all those PB&J sandwiches, bean burritos and even a few BLT’s over the years. After all the countless rides to softball practice, hop hop dance class and to the mall with a car full of giggling girls. All the shopping for back to school clothes and supplies, paying for summer camp fees and acting classes.
Don't cut any corners here: use ripe tomatoes, fresh greens, whole milk and good, strong bleu cheese in a wedge. Buy a fat steak and season it liberally, cook it over a hot grill. And if your dad lives too many states away to cook dinner for, make sure you tell him just how much you appreciate him in a blog post. Love you Dad!
Bleu Cheese Creamed Collard Greens with Cherry Tomatoes and Bacon
Got some of this goodness leftover? Top it with a poached egg and hot sauce and call it brunch. Toss it into whole wheat pasta and call it lunch. Scoop it on to little toasts and call it a day.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup milk
Black pepper, freshly ground
Nutmeg, freshly ground
3 pounds collard greens, leaves halved lengthwise center ribs discarded
8 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Make the sauce. In a large heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Sweat for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook for two more minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk until the sauce is smooth and bring to a simmer, then cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne to taste, then cover and set aside.
Cook the greens. Stack the collard green leaves and then coarsely chop. Place in a steamer basket over boiling water and cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender but not overcooked.
Cream the greens. Put the sauce back on the heat and stir the cooked greens into the sauce along with the tomatoes and toss until all is warmed through. Top with bleu cheese and crumbled bacon and serve.