Southern Collard Greens
Another member of the leafy greens contingent, collard greens are in the same broccoli family as kale and have much of the same nutritional value. But these greens have attitude – they stand up to a hefty cooking effort and pack a bitter punch. Here’s a pretty traditional southern approach to taming the collard beast.
- 2 bunches of collard greens
- 4-6 thick slices of bacon or pancetta depending on your taste, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced, or 2 cloves of garlic and a shallot or small onion
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbs. cider vinegar, or to taste
Cut off the stems of the collard greens, then roll and slice crosswise into half-inch wide strips. Fry up the bacon in a deep skillet until crispy, then set aside on paper towels to drain (but keep the bacon fat in the skillet. Put the garlic/onion in the skillet and fry on low heat for about a minute, then add a handful of greens and cover (but keep all on low or medium-low so nothing burns). Let that handful wilt, then add another handful, continuing this pattern until you’ve incorporated all of the greens.
Let the greens continue to simmer covered, on low, for anywhere from 15 (for crisper greens) to 35 (for more wilty ones) minutes. When they’ve achieved your desired texture, add red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Start with one tablespoon of the cider vinegar, mix it in, then add more if you like.