This is another variation for cooking collard greens. Give several of the collard green recipes a try and see which is the favorite for you and your family.
The typical southern way with collard greens is to cook them for at least an hour, usually more, with a ham hock or bacon for seasoning. This is very good, but some feel that the pork contributes a lot of sodium and some fat to the dish. Onion and lots of garlic, along with a little crushed red pepper add a lot of flavor. An hour of cooking may seem excessive, but you’ll see how their flavor changes from bitter to almost sweet over the long simmer. The greens are nice with a squeeze of lemon.
1 large bunch collard greens, about 1 1/2 pounds, stemmed and washed in 2 changes of water
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced very thin across the grain
2 to 4 garlic cloves, green shoots removed, sliced thin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly squeezed lemon juice for serving
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the collard greens. Blanch for four minutes and transfer to the ice water with a slotted spoon or skimmer. Drain, squeeze out extra water and coarsely chop or cut in thin ribbons. Set aside the cooking water.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a wide, lidded skillet or Dutch oven, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the collard greens, and stir together for a few minutes, then add 1 cup of the cooking water and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover partially, and simmer over low heat for one hour, stirring often and adding more cooking water from time to time, so that the greens are always simmering in a small amount of liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot or warm, with a little fresh lemon juice if desired.
Yield: Serves four.
Original recipe from Martha Rose Shulman