Wisteria's Braised Greens Mac and Cheese
2 cups dried elbow macaroni
1 pound collard, mustard or turnip greens
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided, additional for the baking dish
3/4 tsp. finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. finely chopped thyme
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound grated New York sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 1/2-quart, deep casserole dish and set aside. Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and the macaroni, reduce heat to a low boil and cook al dente (until if offers a slight resistance when bitten into), about 9 minutes. Empty the macaroni into a colander to drain.
Rinse and remove tough stems from the greens. Pat dry and cut into strips. Heat the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and garlic and heat until butter is melted and garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add greens and cook and gently stir until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add cooked greens to the macaroni in the colander and drain. In the same Dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons butter with flour over medium heat and stir for 3 minutes. Gradually add the cream and stir until thickened.
Mix the parsley, thyme, sage and rosemary in a small bowl. Stir the cayenne, salt and pepper and half the herb mixture into the cream sauce. Mix the collards and macaroni into the cream sauce in the Dutch oven. Spread a layer of greens and pour herb mix in the casserole, layer with cheese, repeating the layers with remaining ingredients until casserole is full. Top with the panko and remaining herbs. Dot the top with remaining butter.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Recipe shared by Beth McKibben, a freelance writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She got engaged at Wisteria Restaurant and recently celebrated her anniversary by having dinner there. She enjoys telling a good story and day tripping with her husband and two kids.