This is a savory version of the Peach and Pear Dumplings recipe from a few weeks ago. There are a few variations to this recipe. You can simply simmer greens in a broth or even water, top with the dumplings and serve as a side dish. You can sauté the greens first before adding the broth. You can toss in some cooked meat or other protein to the greens just before adding the dumplings to make more of a meal. Or, you can follow the recipe below, the more “authentic” Southern version, where bacon is simmered in water to create a “broth” in which the greens are simmered. Up to you. All versions are good.
1/2 lb bacon rashers
4 c water
2 – 3 bunches greens, stemmed, if necessary, and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste (if using bacon, you probably won’t need salt)
2/3 c flour or use all flour, white, whole grain, or a combination
1/3 c cornmeal
2 t brown sugar, optional
1 1/2 t baking powder
pinch of salt
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 c milk, half-and-half, cream, or buttermilk, or milk alternative
1. Chop bacon up, or not. Put in a Dutch oven or other wide sauce pan. Pour in water, bring to a simmer, cover, then simmer for about half an hour. You can, at this point, remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and set aside, or you can proceed with the recipe.
2. Add greens, in batches, stirring down until wilted. Add salt and pepper, bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, stirring now and then until greens are tender. This being a Southern recipe, you want the greens as tender as possible, meltingly tender, as they say, so cook for at least half an hour, even longer. You can also cook the greens according to your preference.
3. Meanwhile, if you’ve removed the bacon, fry it up to a degree of satisfying crispness, and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, if using, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Add milk and stir just to combine. Let sit 5 minutes. You can also gently heat the butter and milk until the butter is melted.
5. Make dumplings, smallish or largish, placing on top of greens as you make them. Cover and cook over low heat for another 20 minutes, until dumplings are cooked through. Strew bacon over, if need be. Serve.