Recipe/ Sides/ Vegetarian

Balsamicy Winter Braising Greens with Raisins & Almonds

So I’m in the process of planning my annual Christmas Party Potluck. It’s a great time. Essentially friends come over with food and wine in hand and we shove things (preferably afore mentioned food and wine) in our faces for hours until nothing else fits. As my brother said last year after we decorated it looked like Christmas threw up all over my house. That will be no different. We are, however, gonna do something a little different this year.
 Yes, we’ll still have the food and wine – obviously. And Christmas will still have puked up everywhere. But we’re also gonna throw in a little gifting. I’m not big on the consumptive and consumerist nature of Christmas but I thought the following might be exciting to do as well as add a little mood to the evenings festivities…
I’m not sure what the game is called but essentially everyone brings a wrapped gift valued at approximately 20 dollars, we sit around the tree, and all the gifts go underneath said tree. A person selects a gift, doesn’t unwrap it, and we go around allowing the next person in line to either steal someone else’s gift or choose a new one from the pile. Everyone gets 3 chances to steal and then we all open! There’s a name for it but every version I’ve heard has been called something that’s a little extremely racist. So we’ll just call it Greedy Santa. Fun, right??
Also: what should I cook??? I feel like as the host I should maybe do a couple things. Definitely gonna have a little Christmas baking going on (cookies, fudge, etc…), but what else? What food should I make? Suggestions??
I didn’t have this issue the other day. I knew exactly what to do with my Winter greens. And by exactly what to do, what I actually mean is I just threw things together as they popped into my head and it turned out gorgeous. I often find Winter greens to be too bitter for me but the acidic sweetness of the balsamic really helped to balance that out. This was something in which I helped myself to a second helping… and then a third. And then finished off the next day for lunch. I love me some balsamicy Winter braising greens!

Balsamicy Winter Braising Greens with Raisins and Almonds


  • Large Bunch of Winter Greens (i.e kale, chard, rapini, etc...), washed, dried & prepared (i.e. if leafy greens cut into 1" strips or if using kale, stems removed).
  • 1/2 Large Sweet Onion, diced.
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped.
  • 1/3 C Toasted Almonds, roughly chopped.
  • 1/4 C Raisins (whichever variety you prefer).
  • 1 Batch Balsamic Reduction.
  • Juice from half a lemon.
  • 1/2 C Chicken or Veggie Stock.
  • 1 Tbsp Butter, unsalted.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.


  1. In a large stock pot warm a couple glugs of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and stir well. Allow to soften for about 3 minutes and then add the garlic. Stir again and let cook for about a minute.
  3. Toss in the greens, raisins, and stock, cover pot, and allow to steam for about 5 - 7 minutes, quickly stirring once or twice.
  4. After veggies are cooked down but still hold a little integrity, remove the lid and allow for any excess moisture to cook away.
  5. Add the butter and lemon juice. Remove from the heat. Toss in the almonds, and salt & pepper to taste. Stir well. Scoop into a serving dish and drizzle with a couple Tbsp of the balsamic reduction.
  6. Eat.


  • April @ The 21st Century Housewife
    November 25, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    I love the idea of a Christmas potluck – your party sounds really fun! Those greens look absolutely delicious too. I like that you have used raisins and nuts in them as well – yummy! I’d love for you to share this post at the Gallery of Favorites link up on The 21st Century Housewife this weekend if you have time 🙂

  • Peggy
    November 25, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Oh how fun! We do that same game for our annual work Christmas party, but instead of actual gifts, we all come up with gag gifts! People have definitely made it an art form and come up with some really whacky things!

  • Kristy Lynn
    November 25, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    @ April: I would love to! On my way there now…

    @ Peggy: Ooh! I might be afraid to see what my friends would come up with for gag gifts. haha – probably couldn’t share them here 😉 What fun though!

  • Lori
    November 25, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    I’m with you on the gift giving. Over the years, my interest in the shopping part of Christmas has decreased drastically. My friends and I are going to do a local exchange and trade our favorite KY-made/grown craft or food item.

    These greens sound so good. I’m not a huge fan of raisins, but I might use dried cranberries. I can’t get enough of greens!

  • Kristy Lynn
    November 25, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    @ Lori: What a clever idea! I love it! I wonder if I could talk mine into something like that?

  • Teresa,
    November 25, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    You have made one of my favorite types of dishes…anything and greens. Good Luck on your party planning and have a happy end of November.

  • Kristy Lynn
    November 27, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    @ Teresa: thank you! you too lovely! greens = good.

  • Carol J. Alexander
    November 29, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    I absolutely love greens. Will have to try this. Visiting from the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  • Kristy Lynn
    November 29, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    @ Carol: thanks for visiting! i love greens too – especially with the balsamic!

  • Holli
    November 30, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    Yum! looks delicious:)

    We call that game Yankee Trader:) Not sure if that’s a racial slur or what, but my extended family does this, and it’s really fun. It’s fun to see what people think are “hot items”!

  • Kristy Lynn
    November 30, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    @ Holli: That name is certainly less offensive than the other titles I’ve heard. Besides, I feel better picking on the big guy than the little ones. Yankee Trader it is!

  • Melynda
    December 6, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    this sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.