I have a number of recipes for collard greens – some vegetarian, some more traditional, some specifying longer cook times, and one I found and use often that cooks up collards “quick and easy.” Before I get into the details of how I prepared them to serve with the Pan Seared Shrimp, here is the quick and easy (and tasty!) one from Cooking Light, November 1994.
- 1 cup low-salt chicken broth, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 11 cups tightly packed chopped fresh collard greens (about 4 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Heat 1/2 cup chicken broth in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add garlic, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add collard greens and remaining 1/2 cup broth; stir well. Cover and cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in crushed red pepper and salt.
You can always add a bit of smoked parprika or some scraps of ham to add a little of that tradional “ham hock” flavor.
But – now for the latest greens recipe. By the way, it is even better the next day. I am having some for breakfast as I write this part of the post. YUM!
Now, for years I didn’t really have a clue as to what to do with collard greens beyond toss them in soup. How this happened, given that I followed different vegetarian diets for years, including vegan and macrobiotic, I do not know! But, given that I have a ton of them and other greens in the garden I help with, I am glad I know what to do with them, now!
I know that prepping them was always a mystery for me, as was know how much resulted in how much once cooked. For those who are not familiar with collards, I took some pictures and will include written steps to help you along. But first, here are the ingredients I used most recently. Please note that you do not need to follow the amounts exactly when you make your greens. This is a ART not a SCIENCE. It is also a way to use up greens and ham scraps. <grin> I am just recording what I did so I can use it in the future as a guideline, as should you!
For example, I was planning to just do collard greens, but they cooked down so much, I cut the greens off the baby turnips I had bought and grabbed some argula I had picked a few days ago and added them, plus an additional cup of stock (I started with 2 cups) and then let it all simmer. Again, an art, not a science!
Assorted Greens Simmer
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 medium oinions, chopped medium
- 2 clove garlic, chopped
- heaping 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 3 cups veggie or other stock
- 5-6 oz ham scraps
- 11 oz chopped collards (maybe two bunches from the market?)
- 9 oz wild chopped arugula (the skinny leaves with pronouced indentations – from my garden)
- 9 oz turnip chopped greens (from the baby white turnips at the Farmer’s Market)
Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan or dutch oven. When hot, add onions, garlic, and pepper flakes and saute until soft, 5-10 minutes. Add ham scraps and suate for a few more minutes, then add stock and greens (or, you can add greens and wilt before adding stock). Bring stock to a light boil, cover pot tighty, and simmer for around an hour. Once there greens are quite tender, you can hold on low for hours.
I took some pictures while I made this dish, partly to show an easy way to prepare collards, and partly because I have fun taking pictures. 🙂
The first time I prepared collards greens in a way that came out really tasting really good was for my New Year’s Day open house on 1/1/09. You’ll find the recipe for vegatarian collard greens elsewhere on this blog, but there was one issue. It took a LONG time to prepare the collard greens! But now I know a better way…
Slice the thickest part of the stem off. the photo shows only one leaf,but you can do this with more than one leaf at a time. Then stack the leaves, roll them up, and slice into 1 1/2 inch wide strips.
Once the collards cooked down, I realized that I needed more greens and added the turnip and arugla.
Remember, you don’t have to do greens and stock in two parts! This is just what I did when creating this dish.
Note: when preparing the other greens, do chop off the thicker stems – most get soft from the long simmer, but if too thick, they can be tough.
Another Note: if you don’t have ham or don’w want to use it, add maybe a teaspoon or so to taste of smoked parika if you want a deeper flavor. Also, you can add fresh or canned tomatoes to this dish at the end if you like.