Come on Collards!

February 4, 2015

Are you experiencing kale fatigue?  Much as I love the stuff, I sometimes think it's time to look at other greens. Yesterday, standing in the produce section, my eye landed on a beautiful—and mammoth—bunch of collard greens. I've always loved their clean, nutty snap, and I decided to take them home. 

I had a sudden memory of filming Adventures with Ruth in Brazil, where I learned an amazing way to eat collards. You de-rib each leaf—the stalks are extremely bitter—and then stack each half moon on top of another, 8 or so to a stack. Roll each stack into tight little tubes, and cut into extremely thin ribbons.  We julienned them to  1/16 of an inch. Fried in hot oil for a mere ten seconds the result was like savory air that dissolved on the tongue like cotton candy. 

This time, I thought, I'd try something different.

I cut the collards into quarter inch strips.  Then I sauteed a couple cloves of minced garlic and some chile flakes in olive oil, added the collard ribbons with a bit of salt and pepper, and quickly sautéed until the collards were a brilliant bright green (no more than two minutes).

From here, you need nothing more than the zest of half a lemon and a splash of juice, but I added pickled chiles, some crisp homemade breadcrumbs, and a bit of grated Parmesan. These would probably be delicious with  sautéed onion, a little bacon fat and a splash of apple cider vinegar, too.

The possibilities are endless. 

This is not exactly a new discovery; we've all been eating collards forever. But kale's been having its moment in the sun, and it's time to make way for collards.



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1 Comment

  • Lynn McBride says:

    Now I’m a southern girl, and I often make a mess o’ greens just to eat for lunch all week. There is nothing like them. But I’ve never heard of this preparation, and it sounds brilliant. Especially since it’s hard to make good collards without ham, and I don’t like to eat meat, so this is perfect. Bless your heart!
    from Lynn at