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Creamed Winter Greens with Bacon Béchamel

Yields1 Serving

 4-6 slices bacon, chopped
 2 Tbsp. flour
 1 1/2 cups milk
 2 Tbsp. minced shallot or onion (optional)
 1 bay leaf (optional)
 6 black peppercorns (optional)
 1 large bunch of winter greens such as kale or beet greens
 canola or olive oil or butter, for cooking
 1 onion, chopped
 1/2 cup heavy cream
 2 garlic cloves, minced
 pinch red chili flakes
 salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy skillet, cook the bacon until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Whisk the flour into the bacon drippings. Whisk in the milk and if you like, the shallot, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, whisking often. Let simmer for a few minutes and then pour it into a bowl to set aside. If you added the flavour bits, you'll need to pour it through a sieve to get rid of them. Wipe out the pan.


Roughly chop the greens, ditching the tough ribs.


Heat a drizzle of oil and/or butter in the pan and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the kale (or other greens) and cook until it starts to wilt; add the garlic, béchamel, cream and chili flakes and stir to coat; cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the greens are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the bacon scattered on top.