I ended up making this for lunch today - I couldn't hold out until dinnertime. Plus, my son was occupying himself nicely so it seemed prudent to seize the opportunity and get cooking.
You can use almost any types of greens in this, and almost any type of sausage. I had collards and turnip greens on hand from this weeks' CSA delivery. I put the collards in the pot first and let them wilt down before adding the turnip greens, since the collards take a bit longer to cook. As for sausage, I prefer smoked pork ones like kielbasa; chorizo and linguica are really good too. But any type of sausage would probably do - whatever you have on hand (or is on sale). If you get a low-fat variety, keep an eye on it during the browning step - it seems like lower-fat sausages burn more quickly (maybe the add extra sugar to the cure?). If you're in a hurry, you can skip the sausage-browning step altogether. It does add a lot of flavor, though, so I do it whenever I have time.
Leftovers make a great soup - cut the sausages and greens into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken stock (or a stock made from shrimp shells - YUM) and some cubed potatoes or white beans (aka cannellini), simmer until the potatoes are cooked and EAT.
Braised Greens with Smoked Sausages
Serves 2-4 people, depending on how hungry you are
a few tablespoons olive oil or bacon grease
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 3-4" long pieces and sliced in half lengthwise
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced thin
3-4 big cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed down with the side of a chef's knife or small plate (or minced, if you prefer)
a splash of vermouth
2 bunches of greens (collards, kale, turnip, mustard, etc), washed and coarsely chopped
1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot (8-quart) set over medium heat. Add the sausage pieces, cut side down, and cook until they are starting to brown. Flip them over and let brown a bit on the other side, keeping an eye on the drippings in the pot - you don't want them to burn.
2. Take the sausages out of the pot and set them on a plate. Add the sliced onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften. Add a splash of vermouth or water and stir to get up the good browned stuff.
3. Put the chopped greens in the pan and cover. Let them cook for a few minutes, then uncover the pot and stir to bring the greens from the bottom up on top. Cover and cook until all of the greens are wilted (5-10 minutes, total). If you have a lot of greens, you may need to add half of them, cook until wilted, and then add the other half.
4. Uncover the pot and lay the sausages back on top of the greens. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until the greens are tender, another 10-20 minutes (taste the greens after 10 minutes to see if they are done to your liking. The stems of the collards should be tender). Taste for seasoning (I don't usually add salt, because the sausage is salty enough) and serve with some good crusty bread.