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Braised Greens with Anchovy Pestata

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Recipe By Barton Seaver

I learned this technique from the incredible Lidia Bastianich when I was fortunate enough to cook an inauguration dinner with her in D.C. She made a purée of all the aromatics for a dish, then used that as the flavor foundation. In this way, the texture of the main ingredient, in the case of this recipe, the greens, becomes the focal point. It’s a brilliant technique, and I think it works particularly well in long-simmering dishes.

Serves 4 as a side dish


  • 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ small onion, peeled
  • 2 strips bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 pounds sturdy greens, such as kale or collards, washed thoroughly, heavy stems removed, and cut into 2-inch-wide ribbons
  • 1 cup water salt


    1. Put the anchovies, carrot, garlic, onion, and bacon in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
    2. Place the purée in a large pot over low heat. When the fat in the bacon begins to render, increase the heat to medium and cook until the purée starts to brown slightly. Add the greens and toss to combine. Add the water and season lightly with salt. Cover and continue to cook until the greens are fully cooked, about 20 minutes.
Photo by Katie Stoops

Reminder: The ingredients in a recipe determine if it should be eaten every day, some days, or on special occasions. It's up to you and you doctor to determine what can be part of a healthy diet for you and any special needs you may have.

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Photo by Flicker user mollycakes / CC BY-NC 2.0

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