Comment: Though turnip, mustard and spinach greens were often cooked as vegetables in South Louisiana, it wasn't uncommon for them to be used in other fashions. Duncan Kenner, builder of Ashland Belle Helene Plantation, loved turnip greens and when he combined them with the tasso of the Germans from St. Charles Parish, this appetizer emerged. If tasso is unavailable in your area, you may wish to substitute with ham, bacon or heavy smoked sausage.
1 bunch fresh turnip greens or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped turnips greens or spinach 1/2 cup minced tasso 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup chopped onions 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper 1/4 cup minced garlic 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 tbsp grated orange zest 1/4 cup flour 3/4 cup cream 1 (6-ounce) package garlic cheese spread dash of Worcestershire sauce salt and cracked black pepper to taste granulated garlic to taste Louisiana hot sauce to taste
Method: If using frozen turnip greens, cook according to package directions, drain and set aside. If using fresh greens, wash them well and rinse at least twice. Peel the spine from the leaf and chop. Boil in lightly salted water until tender. Remove, drain and reserve 1 and 1/2 cups of greens. In a cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and minced garlic and saute 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add tasso and mushrooms and continue to cook an additional 3–5 minutes. Add flour and blend well. Add cream to create white sauce. Add turnip greens and orange zest and blend well into mixture. Transfer all ingredients from skillet to a food processor and process until smooth. Return puréed mixture to skillet. Add cheese and Worcestershire sauce, stirring constantly until mixture is well blended and cheese is melted. Season to taste using salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce. Serve hot with a basket of garlic croutons, crackers or vegetable sticks.