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Collard Greens Recipes

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Collards Storage: Store Collards and any fresh cooking green in a plastic bag in the crisper in the fridge. Use within 4 days, fewer if you don't know exactly when it was harvested.

Sausage and Collards over Polenta from Chef Jonathan Miller

1 cup polenta (coarse ground yellow corn)
4 cups water
½ cup parmesan or romano, grated
1 bunch collards
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, diced
3/4-1lb spicy sausage (preferably smoked)
3 garlic cloves, minced
dry oregano
1 lb tomatoes, peeled (or not) and chopped

Bring the water to a boil and gradually sprinkle in the polenta, whisking constantly to avoid lumping, and return the mixture to a low simmer. Continue stirring regularly so no lumps form, and cook over low heat until completely cooked, about 30 minutes. Fold in salt and the cheese and keep warm.
While the polenta cooks, rinse the collards then slice them thinly, discarding stems. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and sweet pepper until lightly browned and softened, about 5 minutes over high heat. Dice one sausage and add it to the onions with the garlic and a generous pinch of dry oregano. Heat through and add about a cup of water, then the collards. Give them a hit of salt and cover, stirring occasionally, until the collards are tender, about 15 minutes. Brown the remaining sausage and slice into thin rounds. Add them with the tomatoes to the collards and heat through for another 5 minutes or so. Mound the polenta on a serving plate and top with the collard/sausage mixture.

Citrus Collards with Raisins
adapted from: Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen by Anna Lappé and Bryant Terry

Coarse sea salt
2 large bunches collard greens, cut into chiffonade
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup fresh orange juice

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pot over high heat and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the collards and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Prepare a large bowl of ice water to cool the collards. Remove the collards from the heat, drain, and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain. Warm the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the collards, raisins, and a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the raisins are plump. Do not overcook—the collards should be bright green. Add the orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Season with additional salt to taste if needed and serve immediately.

Collard Greens Braised
Adapted from Cooks Country

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 leek or 1 small onion, chopped
1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and chopped (rinsed well first of course)
½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon mild vinegar: champagne or cider

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in large sauce pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add half of the greens, broth, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Cover and cook until greens are beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining greens and cook, covered, stirring occasionally over med low heat until quite tender, about 30 minutes. Remove lid and cook over med high heat until liquid is almost evaporated, about 5-10 minutes. Off heat, stir in butter, vinegar, and serve.

Chowhound ideas for collards:

1) I fill the sink with water,you can add a little dish soap or even bleach for extra cleaning, rip or cut the leaves off the stalk, roll the leaves and slice the roll in sections. Then I put the greens in a pot 1/4 filled with water and throw in a ham hock or smoked neck bones. Lastly I add Emerils essence seasoning, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper, then slow cook by boiling it on low for a couple hrs. Delicious!

You can make Vegetarian greens (with flavor) but but instead of adding smoked meat
add a couple of tblsps of vegetable oil
add oregano
add a few chopped onions
add extra seasoning salt

2) Collard greens can be savored in the traditional long-stewed preparations of the South, or they can be sautéed in olive oil and garlic, Italian style. However you like your collards, be sure to wash them well, because they can harbor a lot of sandy grit. (Soaking in a basin or sinkful of water so the grit can fall to the bottom is recommended.) Cut off the stems and cut the tough ribs out of the center. Candy maintains that the best collards come after the first freeze, so if she buys them during the summer, she puts them in the freezer for a while before cooking them.

For Southern-style stewed collards, Diana likes Alton Brown’s recipe. jinet12 uses Paula Deen’s, with a smoked ham hock, and adds a bit of brown sugar and cider vinegar. Everyone agrees that the only proper accompaniments to collards cooked this way are a large square of cornbread and a generous pour of the “pot liquor” that the greens have cooked in.

Another approach is to parboil and sauté. Parboil the leaves, cut into strips, and squeeze dry, then sauté in toasted sesame oil for an Asian flavor, or in bacon fat for a terrific side for pork or duck. Or cut into even smaller pieces and skip the parboiling—simply sauté the collards in olive oil with the aromatics of your choice (many people like minced garlic and hot pepper flakes); add a little stock and cover for a few minutes if you want extra tenderness.

3) More of an asian approach; also works with kale, mustard greens, etc.

Remove the ribs (save for a earty soup stock.)
Chiffonade (or whatever shape you like)
Drain well, and saute with toasted sesame oil. (They'll splatter a lot; use a screen.) Saute with a *little* salt (they'll reduce a lot) or, for a stronger flavor, add a little shoyu after sauteeing.
Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.


4) I de-rib mine and parboil, THEN squeeze dry and chiffonade. They don't splatter much, and they take on flavors from whatever you're sautéeing them in or with very nicely. I'm a big fan of good smoked dry-cured bacon, chopped up and fried crisp in oil, then you drain off most of the fat and finish the greens in that. Fabulous alongside pork or duck, maybe some garlic-cheese grits...

5) I've been sauteeing collards the same way I would spinach or broccoli rabe...cut into small pieces, sautee in olive oil with garlic, salt and crushed red pepper. If you leave it long enough, some of the pieces will caramelize. Simple, quick and delicious.

6) Very good recipe in the Lee Bros cookbook for "sneaky" collards - "sneaky" in that they taste sort of hamhocky but are vegetarian. Here's the short version: Wash them well, as others have said. I don't worry at all about de-ribbing them - as long as you cook them for an hour or so, the ribs are fine. Simmer them in salty spicy water. That's the basics. Now the "sneaky" part is to add a couple of cups of puree of the following things that have all been charred under the broiler in a skillet: onions, tomatoes, garlic, with a good bit of paprika. Before adding that puree, take out a bunch of the water ("pot licker"), saving it for some other purpose. And keep cooking til soft.

Some people favor collard greens boiled until they are meltingly tender, while others prefer them to retain some bite. This recipe satisfies the taste of the latter group.

2 1/2 lbs.
2 cloves
1 tbsp.
1 tbsp.
1 tsp.
collard greens
unsalted butter
olive oil
fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Remove and discard stems and center ribs of collard greens. Cut leaves into 1-inch pieces. In a kettle of boiling water cook collards 15 minutes and drain in a colander, pressing out excess liquid with back of a wooden spoon.

Mince garlic. In a 12-inch heavy skillet heat butter and oil over moderately high heat until foam subsides and stir in garlic, collards, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté collard mixture, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Drizzle collards with lemon juice and toss well. Serves 4.

Gourmet, December 1998

The following are some musings on COLLARDS from Thompson's The Kitchen Garden Cookbook:

The flavor of collards' large smooth dark green leaves is more mustardy than cabbage and less mustardy than turnip greens. It's very pleasant, and can even be sweet.  To prepare collards, bring a big pot of salted water with a glug of vinegar in it to a boil. Meanwhile, stack the collards and cut off their stems. Cook the stems separately: Chop the stems and turn them into a saucepan with a splash of vinegar. Cover with cold water, sprinkle with salt, and simmer, loosely covered, until tender -  about a quarter more time than it will take to cook the greens. Add water if needed. Collards are major players on the nutritional field, high on the list of vegetables thought to be cancer fighters. Add ribbons of tender leaves to salad.


Dressing for cooked greens: warmed walnut oil, red wine vinegar, and chopped toasted walnuts. (from Belk's "Around the Southern Table")

Another method for serving leftover collards: Heat in a skillet with roasted peanuts and crushed red peppers.  Brown diced ham in the skilled first, then add the greens, peanuts, and  peppers, and serve over rice.

Main dish salad idea: Mix drained cooked beans with cooked collards and dress with oil and vinegar.

Simple Collards: Cook 3 cups (1/2 pound) collard leaves. Dress with 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, and 2 minced garlic cloves.  Season with salt and cayenne or black pepper.  Serve with rice and corn bread.


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