About a peck of greens are enough for a mess for a gathering of six folks. Almost any sort can be used. We’ve had the best of luck with dandelions, chicory, mustard or turnip greens. All greens should be carefully examined, and the tough ones thrown out. Thoroughly wash through several waters until they are entirely free from sand. Adding a handful of salt to each pan of water while washing the greens will free them of insects and worms.
When ready to boil the greens, put them into a large pot half full of boiling water with a handful of salt, and boil them until the stalks are tender—anywhere from 5–20 minutes. Remember that over-long boiling wastes the tender nature of the leaves and lessens both the flavor and nourishment of the dish.
As soon as they are tender, drain them in a colander, chop them a little and return them to the fire. Season them with salt, pepper, and butter. The greens should be served as soon as they are hot.
As mentioned early on in this receipt, this serves 6 people, but could well serve 60. Just add a little more of everything in its measure.
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