Lately I’ve been asked by several people, how to cook fresh greens, specifically kale and collards. I’ve already posted some kale recipes, so today I’ll share how I cook collard greens. One of the advantages of a grandmother that was raised in the country was learning how to cook all the vegetables that grew in the family garden. This recipe for collards is a little spicy, but that’s how I like mine, so if you want something with less kick, just let me know and I’ll share another recipe. This serves approximately 10 servings out of 1 pound of collards.
- 2 qts chicken stock (can be canned, homemade or made from bouillon cube)
- 1# collards, washed, stems removed and leaves chopped (you can eat the stems, however I tend to only eat the stem that’s near the leafy part as the stalk can be quite woody)
- 1/4# (4oz) Applewood smoked bacon, diced
- 1 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 3/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 1/4 tsp sugar
In a dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp over medium heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and reserve. In the bacon grease over medium/low heat, sweat the onions until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrent, 2-3 minutes. Add the collard greens and saute for a few minutes, then add the chicken stock, seasonings, tomatoes, sugar and the cooked bacon. Cook the collard greens over medium heat at a slow boil for 45 minutes to 1 hour and enjoy. Country folk call the liquid in the pot, pot liquor, and they crumble their cornbread up in it. I realize cooking the greens this long really cooks out a lot of the nutrients, so if you’re shooting for the vitamin factor, you can eat the greens after 20-30 minutes, but for a true Southern style pot of greens, you want to cook them to death. That’s when the flavors blend for the real deal.