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Collard Greens

MEANCHEF's picture

When Risottogirl and Mer joined us for dinner at the Watershed restaurant a while back, Jerseygirl had collard greens as a side dish.  After tasting them I could see why people go crazy over collards _ they were delicious.  I have had them in various forms before, but was never impressed.  Sooo for New years day I set about trying to duplicate the collards from the restaurant.  Luckily I was able to find Scott Peacock's recipe on line (written jointly with Edna Lewis).  The secret is the smoky pork stock.  They turned out just as I had remembered them.  If you like collards, give this a try.

Spicy Collard Greens

Source of Recipe

Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock

List of Ingredients

For the Pork stock:

1 pound smoke cured pork shoulder, ham hocks or sliced lean country bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 quarts water

For the Collard greens:

1 quart Smoky Pork Stock
3 pounds collard greens, stems and ribs (removing the entire rib is optional as it contains much of the flavor and nutrients) removed, leaves cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained


Serves 4-6

For the pork stock:
Put the pork and water in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderate heat for 2 hours; the stock will be intensely flavored. Strain the stock and let cool, then refrigerate for several hours. Discard the fat before using. Bits of meat can be reserved to flavor the greens.

Make Ahead
The stock can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for up to 1 month. Be sure to cover it tightly to avoid flavoring everything else in the fridge.

For the Collard Greens:

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, bring the Smoky Pork Stock to a boil. Add the collard greens and cook over moderately high heat until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain the greens, reserving the liquid.
Wipe out the casserole. Add the oil and onions and cook over moderate heat until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and simmer over moderately low heat until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 15 minutes. Add the collard greens and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Make Ahead
The greens can be prepared 1 day ahead and reheated.

thecooktoo's picture

I never liked ( or appreciated) collard greens, and I lived in the south almost all my adult life.  I came across this recipe not long ago and it changed my greens eating life.  I am now an avid fan of collards, fixed almost anyway.  Thought you might like to see this one, it has a tang from the tamarind that is really marvelous.


* Exported from MasterCook *

               Chipotle and Tamarind-Braised Collard Greens

Recipe By     :
Serving Size  : 6     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Grill                           Side Dish

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1 1/2          large  dried chipotle chiles -- stemmed and seeded
     1/4           cup  extra-virgin olive oil
     1/2        medium  sweet onion -- thinly sliced
  2              large  garlic cloves -- thinly sliced
  3               cups  Rich Turkey Stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  3             pounds  collard greens -- stems and inner ribs discarded, leaves cut into 1-inch ribbons (about 28 cups)
                        Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1 1/2    tablespoons  tamarind concentrate or 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Using kitchen shears, cut the chiles into very thin strips. In a stockpot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and chiles and cook over high heat until the garlic is just beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the collard greens by large handfuls and stir to wilt each batch before adding more. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the collards are tender, about 40 minutes.

Transfer 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid to a small bowl and stir in the tamarind concentrate, then stir this mixture into the collards. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the collards and their liquid to a large bowl and serve.

NOTES : MAKE AHEAD The greens can be refrigerated overnight.



nutcakes's picture

Both of these sound delicious to me. I love greens. While collards aren't my favorite, this may change my mind. I'm going to try them out.

Adele's picture

I'm doing collard greens tomorrow.  If I had logged on earlier, I could of premade the pork stock.  Instead the smoked hocks are just going in with the collards to simmer away.  I usually saute onions & garlic add the hock, add the liquid, then the collards.

I've made meals out of this by adding tomatoes, potatoes, carrots.  Pretty much whatever I feel like.  

Will try your recipe with the turnip greens I also have.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

teebee's picture

Did you see the articles on Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock in last (2008) January's Gourmet magazine? The issue was devoted to Southern cooking. It was an excellent feature, as well as some great recipes. I ended up ordering their "Gift of Southern Cooking." My favorite recipe from it was a bourbon pecan pie, which I made for Thanksgiving and Christmas (and maybe for every holiday from here on out!).

Bronwynsmom's picture

Edna Lewis! I still feel her loss, though I never had the honor of meeting her.
Here's a very simple way to cook greens (collards, kale, turnip, et al...) that is also delicious, and will convert the skeptical.
Fill a big pasta/soup pot with water and set it on to boil. Strip the leaves of the greens off their stems, tear them into a colander, and rinse well.
When the water boils, put in two tablespoons each of salt and sugar, stir, and stir in the greens. Cover, bring back to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about ten minutes...longer if you like them really well done.
Strain the greens into a colander and quickly return them to the pot, so that some of the cooking water remains in them.
Shake them around, stir in a pat or two of butter and the juice of a quarter or half lemon (depending on the volume of greens), and grind in a lot of black pepper. Taste for salt, although you probably won't need it because of the cooking water.
Alternatively, add a wee splash of olive oil, a few drops of cider or red-wine vinegar, and a quick shake of hot sauce.

Adele's picture

You had me going until the sugar.  I rate BBQ places by their collards and two near me use sugar.  Needless to say, I do not partake.   I wonder why sugar is added?  

I've got my collards done and am just waiting for the chicken to finish.  I'm doing the turnip greens tomorrow or the next night. 

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Bronwynsmom's picture

I understand your reluctance about the sugar...but with this method, you use so much water (like cooking a pound of pasta) that almost all the sugar drains away, and is hardly noticeable. What it does is cut the bitterness of the greens, and mellows them. You can use one tablespoon instead of two, and get pretty much the same effect. But lots of people like the bitterness more than I do, in which case you can certainly leave the sugar out altogether.

Adele's picture

I see where your coming from.  The thing is, the pot likkor is one of the good things about making your own.  I pulled them out and then reduced the liquid a bit, put them back in to re-warm.  Couple of dashes of Pete's Hot Sauce and I was ready to go.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Bronwynsmom's picture

You are so right about "pot likker"! Had dinner in a fairly new restaurant on Saturday, and their collards were wonderful...a little hint of vinegar, a touch of heat...sounds like you cooked them yourself!

Romana's picture


Here's a simple one I got from an Italian cookbook. After washing and cutting in strips, heat up a frying pan with some olive oil and garlic slivers as well as fresh peperoncino (hot pepper) or dry if you don't have fresh. Then put the collards in. They will wilt, mix occasionally, add salt and cook until it's done to your taste.

Delicious and so easy! I did not even attempt to give it to my kids, although I must say they do eat various types of veggies thank G-d, but they saw me eating a plateful and helped me gobble it all up :)

TracyK's picture

Braise the greens in whatever cooking liquid you like, till tender, then saute in good olive oil with crushed red pepper flakes and garlic, add a splash of vinegar, and top with caramelized onions and toasted pine nuts. YUM.

"The reason I don't worry about society is, nineteen people knocked down two buildings and killed thousands. Hundreds of people ran into those buildings to save them. I'll take those odds every day."
                                                        --Jon Stewart

nutcakes's picture

That sounds simple and good and I bet it would be good with pickled pepperonccini too.

Risottogirl's picture

I love greens but I have never been too excited about collards. Since our dinner, I have made Edna's recipe with the cornmeal dumplings from the Jan 2008 issue of Gourmet. Yum-my!

I'll have to see how this one compares. BTW, I have made about a hundred versions of pimento cheese since that dinner at the Watershed :)

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

bldrbill's picture

Mean--I made your collards yesterday and they are outstanding!  I've been eating collards all my life, and these are the best ever.  Even better the second day after the flavors blended more.  Thanks for posting this.

Adele's picture

One more person and it can go into Tried and True! 

I'll be doing the recipe tonight, only with Turnip Greens.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

bldrbill's picture

I'll bet it's good with turnip greens too.  The collards I have are an heirloom variety that I've been saving the seed from for about 20 years.  They're better than regular collards anyway, and this recipe really puts them over the top. 

Fledge's picture

Carolina would be so proud of you.

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey