The Popeye Method

I’m still not right. It feels like I forgot something or I missed something. Like my arm. Or my pants. Sometimes I can stand over a pot of what’s on the stove and taste it once and fix it. Sometimes I stand over it and taste it a thousand times and have to go to bed, not knowing what happened.

I’m not smart enough to figure it out. So, you know..I think, “what would Popeye do?” The truth is, if you’re trying to hold on to the calcium in your bones, spinach isn’t the best choice, so go with collards. Have a collard sandwich. If you’re in no mood even for cooking, you can get the king of collard sandwiches at Superiority Burger. Or buy the best bread you can get your hands on and make some toast. Serious toast–not halfway toast. If it’s not completely golden, shove it back down again and watch it like a hawk. Have your filling ready to go. Rinse one bunch of baby collards and give them a rough chop. Pull the ribs out if the leaves aren’t as young as they could be. Salt a few inches of water and drop in the leaves with a garlic clove, a few sprigs of parsley and a spill of olive oil. Simmer them for at least 15 minutes and longer if the leaves are really big. You want them to be tender. Drain well. Sauté one small yellow onion and three cloves of garlic, banged from their paper wrappers, with a few peperonicini or a shake of red pepper flakes. Make sure the pan isn’t dry; don’t be stingy with the olive oil. Salt and pepper the onion and keep the flame low. Let them go until they’re melted and caramelized. Add the collards and drizzle with olive oil and a few drops of white wine vinegar. Let it reduce. Add a little water or homemade stock, until they’re juicy. Taste for salt. Drizzle the toasts with olive oil and pile on the greens with either sharp cheddar melted on the first piece or a piece of feta, broken up on top of the greens, with another piece of toast on top.

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