Intro to Collard Greens

March 28th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Vegetable Lovin'

These are collard greens. These collard greens have been in my refrigerator for more than a week.

Collard Greens

My hesitation stems from the fact that I tried collards at a picnic over the summer, and they were awful.  AWFUL!

There are enough people in this world who enjoy collard greens that I figured it was not the collards fault that they were so bad – it was probably the fault of the person who made them.  A person who doesn’t have the slightest idea that this blogs exists, so I feel like I am free to say “Your collards sucked, lady!”  (sorry.)

Still, I’ve obviously been dragging my feet with making my own collard greens. I was temped to just juice them, dust my hands off and say “There!  I tried collard greens!”  

But the juicer felt like the easy way out. And this is The Greener March CHALLENGE! I am not going to be a Greener March Slacker. Buck up, woman! My leafy green conscience knew I had to make these the old fashioned way, not the hippie-dippy-just-shove-them-through-the-juicer-and-be-done-with-them way.

Armed with this easy vegetarian collard green recipe, I got to work today.

Stems removed, leaves washed really well.

Stems Removed Washed Collard Greens

Stacked five giant leaves high.

Stacked Collard Greens

Rolled like a big doobie, and then sliced. (NO, not smoked! It’s not that kind of Mama’s “Weeds”, people.)

Rolled Up Collard Greens Sliced Collard  Greens

I veered from the recipe above by using water instead of vegetable stock, and I sauteed my onion and garlic in butter a separate pan first, instead of just throwing everything into one pan at the same time. Once the onions and garlic were soft and translucent, I transferred everything to the dutch oven.

Separate Pans to Start

During this part of the cooking process, I moved a certain someone across the kitchen so he wouldn’t be immediately underfoot while I was moving hot stuff around the stove. I knew I would be done in the time it would take him to work his way back to me.

Look Who's Walking

He was not pleased with this little trick of mine.

Pick Me Up!

(Nine months old today! He’s been 1-2 stepping for a couple weeks now and has really started to take off over just the past few days here.)

I let my collards simmer for 45 minutes and enjoyed (yes! enjoyed!) them today with a side of buttered Ezekiel toast.

Cooked Vegetarian Collard Greens

Zak is eating some right now and says they could be a little softer, but they taste great. I liked the taste too. The only spices were salt and smoked paprika, some of the flavor comes from a little apple cider vinegar too.

I looked up Collard Greens in The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Johnny Bowden. He says “typically, collards are simmered for several hours, which makes them really tender. But you can also boil them in water for 15 to 30 minutes if you don’t mind them being a bit firmer.” So they probably could have gone longer than 45 minutes and been even more tender, but I didn’t mind the texture at all at the 45 minute mark.

They are often served with bacon, pork, or with beans, like black eye peas. For my maiden collard green voyage they made a great vegetable snack today.

Collards are loaded with calcium, potassium, vitamins A and K and have a slew of other health benefits if you’re looking a reason to give these guys a try. Now that I’ve made them once, I’ll incorporate them into a meal next time instead of just a trial run leafy green snack.

Whaddya think? Do you eat collards? Would you? Don’t be scared off by my picnic story. When in doubt, use lots of butter. And garlic. You can’t lose.

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