Collard greens are a favorite of those of us who grew up in the South. They’re related to kale and mustard greens, but have a deeper, smokier flavor. They have a ton of vitamin K, A, C, and fiber. They’re also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike kale, which can be cooked very quickly, collards are a bit tougher and have to be cooked for longer… thus, in the South, they are traditionally boiled for a while, often with a ham hock.
For my New Year’s Eve dinner, I served collards over yellow grits–the perfect pairing. The collards were easy to make. When you’re making them, remember that the leaves will cook down a lot, so always start with more than you think you need; plus, they make great leftovers.
Easy Collard Greens
serves 3-4 as a side
2 bunches collard greens
1 onion, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
Thoroughly wash collard greens. Chop them into pieces roughly 2-3′ wide. In a heavy bottom pan, saute onions with olive oil until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 tbsp salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add collards greens. Cook for 25 minutes — if necessary, add more broth. Cook to the consistency you desire–they should be very tender. Salt and pepper.
If there is extra broth, you can save it and use it for other dishes in lieu of vegetable broth of water (making rice, for example). It will retain the nutrients from the collards.