Last month, Matt and I went to California and Oregon to visit family and friends for a much needed two-week vacation. We often wait months and months, me saving up vacation days at work, before going away for an extended amount of time. By the time our vacation has arrived we’re both about to go insane with the necessity of an honest and true break. Yes, it was much needed and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
As part of our vacation we did a road trip up to Oregon, and on the way there we saw a billboard advertising The Olive Hut. We all love olives and olive oil, so we figured it was a good detour and the perfect opportunity to stretch our legs. When we went into the store, we found we were the only customers (helps to have it be the middle of the day and the middle of the week), so it was easy for us to browse and linger over their copious amounts of locally grown and produced olives. As we walked through, we saw a sampling table where we could try various stuffed olives and a variety of olive oils. To the right of the table was a glass enclosed room where a couple of women quickly pressed garlic cloves into olives.
After a while I decided that I needed a culinary souvenir, so I finally settled on a small bottle of blood orange olive oil because of its unique flavor. I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d use it for, but I knew it had vast potential in my kitchen. I used it for the first time with these homegrown collard greens and spinach, but if you don’t have orange flavored olive oil you can get a similar citrus flavor if you use a couple of tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice.
Collard Greens and Spinach
- 1 large bunch of fresh collard greens (de-stemmed and cut into smaller pieces, if desired)
- 1 or two large handfuls of fresh spinach
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 – 3 cups water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (or orange-flavored olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice (omit if you do have a citrus-flavored olive oil)
- Other seasonings as desired (dill, black pepper, garlic, onion, etc.)
Boil water and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Once the water is boiling add the collard greens. Let the collard greens cook for three to five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the spinach at the end and let cook for 15 to 30 seconds, then turn off the stove and take the pan off the heat.
Drain the greens and place them in a serving bowl. Drizzle on the olive oil, citrus juice and other seasonings and quickly mix. This can be served either warm or cold.
I absolutely love both collard greens and spinach, so this wound up being a lovely pairing and the orange olive oil gave it such an interesting flavor. If you don’t have or like either of these greens you could try this with other greens like kale, swiss chard, or arugula. You could also do broccoli (boiled or steamed), asparagus or carrots. It’s such a basic recipe, but the addition of citrus and olive oil give it an exotic and unexpected twist.
Do you have any ideas on how to use an olive oil like this that is infused with a unique flavor?