Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Braised Collard Greens

Collard greens are traditionally made with some kind of pork product, but they really don't need bacon to be tasty.  I know, it's shocking.  But this is a completely vegetarian collard green dish that could be served as a side, or as a main course over a bed of grains.  It's spicy and incredibly flavorful, with a great balance of textures. 

I haven't eaten a lot of collard greens in my life, and this is the first time I've cooked them.  I have to say I'm pretty impressed with them.  When they are raw, they are huge, robust leaves that truly overshadow their more delicate counterparts, kale and chard.  When cooked, they shrink down but don't really wilt - they get tender but still hold their shape.   They have a spice all their own that is emphasized here by a tangy and spicy combination of ingredients. 

This is a great way to get collard greens on your plate.  They're in season now, so make this and serve it to your vegetarian or kosher-keeping friends!

Braised Collard Greens
adapted from Mad Hungry
serves 2-3


1 bunch collard greens, trimmed and washed (and still wet)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
coarse salt


1.  Remove the tough stems from the greens and chop them into relatively uniform pieces, roughly bite-sized.  

2.  Heat a large saute pan over medium-high.  Swirl in the oil and add onion, bell pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Saute, stirring constantly, until the veggies are softened, about 5 minutes.

3.  Add the greens a handful or two at a time, stirring into the onion mixture as you add.  They will collapse and shrink in the heat.

4.  When all the greens are in the pan and the heat is sizzling, pour in the vinegar.  Stir to evaporate.  Cover and let the greens cook over low heat until just tender, adding a little water if necessary to keep them from burning, about 8 minutes.  Season with salt and serve.


1 comment:

  1. So good to look at, to taste, and for our bodies. Definition of Soul Food? Thanks.