Bees evoke fear whenever they are too close. Being stung is not a pleasurable experience. It is a potential hazard that goes along with gardening. While I do what I can to protect myself and be aware, the eventual sting happens. The pain of the sting makes me wish bees didn’t exist. Then I remember how important they are to the landscape. Beautiful flowers and plants would not flourish without them. Plus we can’t forget about honey; a wonderful natural sweetener that is so versatile in the kitchen. It’s an ingredient in these braised fall greens with apples and many other recipes.
Honey is the focus of a new cookbook. A copy of it recently arrived at my door. I was excited to see it because I’ve been a fan of cooking and baking with honey for a long time. The Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton highlights various types of honey and showcases them with seasonal recipes.
Long ago I only used store-bought honey. It was before I discovered the incredible flavor of local honey. My main source now is from a beekeeper only a few miles from my home. Then I discovered more varieties as I traveled. It’s amazing how each area can yield such different flavors and colors. You can see examples of the color range in the book. Colors go from light wheat to dark brown.
A few notes on the recipe. Below is as it appears in the book (used with permission). I had to use a 7-quart pot because three pounds of greens would not fit into my largest skillet. I used a mixture of pre-washed and pre-cut collards and turnip greens. They took about an hour to simmer before they were tender enough. My southern soul was skeptical in the process. I’m used to greens being cooked with pork for hours. However, I was pleased with the final result. I ate a big bowl for dinner and enjoyed the simple flavors of the greens and apples.
How often do you cook or bake with honey? I use it in everything from salad dressings to baked goods. Check out my homemade wheat bread and farro and fruit salad. You can also find plenty of recipes in the cookbook. Click on the photo to purchase it from Amazon (affiliate link):
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, cut into large chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, plus more for finish
- 2 tablespoons honey, preferably eucalyptus honey, plus more for finish
- 2 tart apples, cored, unpeeled, and cut into chunks
- 3 pounds mixed braising greens, cut into large pieces, thick stems removed
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add ½ cup water, and the vinegar, honey, and apples, stirring to combine. Add the greens and stir, folding in the uncooked greens on the top as the ones in the bottom of the pan wilt, until all the greens have been incorporated.
- Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the age of the greens. If the greens are young, they will only need to cook for 5 minutes. Older greens, like a mix of mostly collards, will need to cook longer.
- Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. A pinch of salt and a grind of pepper will do the trick. Too much more will mask the sweet flavor of the greens, so do taste them first, okay?
- Splash with a big more vinegar and one more drizzle of honey, and serve.
Disclosures: I received a copy of The Fresh Honey Cookbook at no charge from Storey Publishing. I was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions are my own unless stated otherwise or contained within a guest post. The post contains affiliate links.