Bitter flavours are often dismissed as undesirable, but a little bitterness can bring delicious nuance to an otherwise one-note plate. Bitter greens are particularly welcome alongside rich, salty dishes, and the best way to make them pop is with a drizzle of honey.
Life has taught me to expect very little from February, the worst month, but this one has been especially bad. It's important to savour the bright spots as they crop up, even the tiny ones. Although this month has been riddled with crises on the micro and macro scales, I finally got to eat kohlrabi pizza after weeks and weeks of plotting. It was the highlight of my February.
My first experience with honeyed greens was a pile of garlicky spinach. Rather than obscuring the leaf with sweetness, the sugar in the honey provided contrast to the bitterness while tempering it ever so slightly, turning the spinach into the best version of itself. After experimenting a bit, I can confirm it works with any bitter, sautéed green, and has resulted in me eating many more vegetables.
Honey is particularly effective when paired with salt, or a salty ingredient. Bittersweet greens are fine, but bittersweet and salty greens are a celebration of flavours, so add some flaky crystals, a sprinkling of funky cheese, or a tiny bit of crumbled bacon or sausage. You don’t need a lot of honey — you want it to complement, not dominate. Just drizzle a thin stream over a pile of wilted leaves right before serving, toss, taste, and add a little more if needed.