Edible Monterey Bay

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Braised Coconut Greens Scented with Makrut Lime Leaves and Lime Zest

Courtesy Magali Brecke, co-founder of Kitchen Witch Bone Broth
Photography by Liz Birnbaum, founder and CEO of The Curated Feast

Healthful recipes that are simple to prepare is the objective of a pandemic collaboration between Magali Brecke and Liz Birnbaum that resulted in an ebooklet called Eat and Be Well—available as a free download on the Kitchen Witch website.

“I believe deeply in the power of our daily food choices to shape the quality of our lives on a physical and emotional level,” writes Brecke.

“This recipe sounds fancy and tastes fancy too, yet there is nothing complicated about this dish,” she adds. “It’s just quality ingredients and an easy infusion technique that elevates these greens and highlights their natural, complex texture. Keep this in your back pocket for a dinner gathering (served with white fish and rice) or simply for getting more greens into your diet.”

4 bunches leafy greens (any mix of dinosaur kale, curly kale, red kale, collard greens, mature spinach or chard, stripped from stems and shredded into medium-sized pieces)
3 large shallots, shaved or thinly sliced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 cloves garlic, shaved into chips or minced
1 to 1½ cans coconut milk
3 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
3 fresh makrut lime leaves, whole (optional, but worth the search)
Zest of 1 lime, minced
Crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
1 tablespoon healthy cooking fat, such as coconut oil, ghee or avocado oil
Sea salt

In a large, deep pan with a lid, heat oil on medium and sauté the shallot until aromatic and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic, sauté till aromatic but not brown, and add some salt. Add 1 full can coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the makrut lime leaves if you have them.

Next, add all shreds of greens and another dash of salt, toss if space allows, and cover and allow to simmer on low for about 10 to 15 minutes, till the greens have cooked through. Now that you have more room, really toss the greens to coat.

If mixture is looking dry (the greens should be simmering in a nice broth, not covering them but relatively close) or if you really love coconut milk, add another ½ can. Mix well to coat, taste the broth for salt.

Remove makrut lime leaves (or leave for decoration), sprinkle on lime zest and a dash of red pepper flakes and top with green onion. Serves 4-6.

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At Edible Monterey Bay, our mission is to celebrate the local food cultures of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties, season by season.