Collard greens


Collard greens, straight from the grocer

Collard greens are a green large loose leaf vegetable in the same family as broccoli and cabbage, though it more closely resembles kale and spring greens.  Collards are a good source of vitamin C and soluble fiber, and also contain multiple nutrients with potent anticancer properties.  It is a relatively thick leaf with a thick fibrous stem in the middle.  You basically use your knife to follow the sides of the stem to cut it out.

Glide the knife along the rib

Make a short stack of cut leaves and then do a rough chop.  Some folks like to roll the leaves and do a chiffonade but I like my food more rustic, plus this is easier for everyone.

I like to rough chop, easy money

I use the OXO brand salad spinner, this model is a few years old but still works like a champ.  I take the basket piece to hold my cut collards.

Once all the collards are destemmed and chopped I rinse them off in the sink, shake the basket a bit, then rinse again.  If your collards are a little wilted, you just need to soak them in cold water for a bit.  This works with a variety of veggies!  Once you are happy the greens are sufficiently rinsed, pop them into the spinner and blast away.  I again do it twice just to get out as much water as possible.

Now we need to get the fat we are cooking these in, BACON! Get out 3 or 4 slices of bacon (smoked thick slice is best) and chop into small pieces.  Get out the pan you are using to cook your greens in, I usually pick a tall enough pan to hold all the greens and one that has a lid.  Over medium low heat get the bacon cooking, we need to render out the fat to cook the greens in.    A vegetarian variation would be to use olive oil or your favorite cooking oil.

Once your bacon is good and cooked add your greens, reducing the heat to low.  Give them a good stir trying to coat all the greens with fat.  Cover and let the heat and steam do work.  No salt at this time as the greens are reducing and a little salt could turn into a lot of salt.  Plus the bacon has a natural salty flavor it is imparting to the greens.

Collards just added to the bacon fat

Turn occasionally to avoid any burning, plus getting the hot fat on all the leaves will aid the wilting process.  After a couple of minutes add a splash or two of a light vinegar, I use rice vinegar.

Nakano Rice Vinegar


After 30 minutes you should see something like this:

Cooked collards with bacon

Taste and season with salt and pepper, more vinegar or a shot of hot sauce.

And finally the finished product:

Plated collard with bacon


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