Keep It Simple, Silly: Collard Greens
Photo by Kate Chan
I have to be honest. The last couple of CSA boxes have had collard greens. And I’ve swapped them out every week because I’ve been intimidated.
My Love really enjoys collard greens – but it is also because he loves southern food and has had some great food in Chicago. And me? Yes. I like collard greens, but cooking them? *Yikes*
I’ve heard how “long” and “tough” it is to cook collard greens and have them turn out fabulously. Seasoning them and making them the right texture and not having either mushy or bitter greens to serve. And you know what? I’m much more of a baker than a cook, so that whole “you’ll know when it’s done” thing? Doesn’t always work for me. Well, unless I’m grilling chicken or pork chops. I’ve got that down.
Last week (and this week’s) CSA box had collard greens, so I bit the bullet. I was going to prepare them and prove my Love wrong. I was going to make simple and tasty collard greens. And guess what? It totally worked. He wants more.
So tonight, with my family here visiting, we’re making grilled chicken breasts, some more KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly) Collard Greens, fresh new potatoes roasted with feta cheese and parsley and watermelon. And for dessert? I’m attempting a checker-board sponge cake. (Yeap, now I’ve gone ’round the bend, huh?)
So, for those of you with greens and not southern touch to your cooking (like me), feel free to copy. These are fabulous greens. I’m thrilled to have an easy recipe to make collard greens with now. And I won’t be swapping out my collards for any more carrots. I promise.
K.I.S.S. Collard Greens
- 1 bunch of collard greens, cleaned/washed
- 4 cloves of garlic, mashed and minced
- olive oil
- salt/pepper for seasoning
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Squeeze of lemon juice.
- OPTIONAL/Main Dish Salad: chopped chicken, raisins or dried cherries, toasted almonds.
- Bring a pot of water (salted. optional) to a boil on the stove. While you wait, prepare your collard greens.
- Cut the thick center vein/stem out of the collard greens. Split each leaf in two. Roll together and slice into thin strips (1/4 inch – 1/2 inch). Cut the strips in half. (See picture above of rolled collards that have been cut into strips. I just sliced the rolls in half one time.)
- Drop the greens into the boiling water. Boil for 6 minutes (thin slices) – 8/10 minutes for thicker slices. Remove the collards once they have reached the “al dente” noodle stage after 6 – 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of your strips).
- Drain and press out the excess water.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan. Add your garlic and stir until fragrant (1 minute). Add the greens and stir fry for 4 – 5 minutes until tender. Drizzle with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Continue over the heat until even temperature. (The greens will remain “al dente” or just tender and not mush after such speedy cooking.) Squeeze a half a lemon over or drizzle a teaspoon of lemon juice over (or more, to taste) and toss.
- Serve warm as a side. Or top with a few raisins, sliced chicken and toasted almonds to make a fabulous entree salad.