Tsigareli - Braised Greens w/Tomato & Feta


In this Greek recipe from the Ionian island of Corfu, greens, or horta, shine. Cooked greens are beloved all over Greece, and this regional Greek recipe is both easy and unique. Add a sprinkling of Greek feta and a drizzling of extra virgin Greek olive oil for maximum flavor!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh preferably mixed tender greens, such as spinach, sorrel, and dandelion, trimmed and washed well
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or more to taste
  • 2 large onions halved and sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb trimmed, quartered, and thinly sliced, plus 1 scant teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste or 1 heaping tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 1/4 cups snipped fresh dill
  • Salt and hot paprika or cayenne pepper (optional), to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or wok. Steam the greens in increments in the olive oil, covered and over low heat, until wilted, then drain completely.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onions, stirring, over medium heat until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add either the sliced fennel bulb or ground seeds, and cook together with the onions for about five minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste or paprika, and stir for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the wilted greens, and simmer over low heat, uncovered, until the greens are soft and all the pan liquids have cooked off, about 20 minutes. Stir in the dill about five minutes before removing from heat. The dish should be fairly dry. Adjust the seasoning with salt and sweet or hot paprika or cayenne. Pour a little fresh olive oil over the greens once they are cooked, if desired, and garnish with feta. Serve with warm pita bread.

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