Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I was already a senior in college before I tasted collard greens for the first time. They were prepared by my friend Gil. I hadn't realized collard greens were something you could actually cook and eat. I guess I always sort of believed it that they were something more mystical—a vegetable that existed only in metaphorical form. It was also many years before I understood that the spleen is a real organ, but that is another story.

Classic Collard Greens
Heat some oil in the bottom of a big pot. Gll says every time you heat oil in your home, you should think of it as a korbn, and now I always do. Add one small diced onion. Take one big bunch of collard greens. Cut the leaves off the stem and chop the leaves roughly. Most people throw out the stems; almost every cook book that has a recipe for collard greens will tell you to throw out the stems; but I love the stems, and chop the stems up and use them too. Throw the greens in the pot with the sizzling onion and cook them until they go down a little. Add water to cover, salt, and cook for a good long time. I think you have to cook for about an hour. Towards the end at a little bit of white vinegar or cider vinegar. Serve the greens, together with the "pot liquor"

This works very nicely if you're serving something rich and cheesy like macaroni and or grits.

I just love the leaves! They are like gigantic, floppy elephant ears.

Cowgirl Collard Greens

One largish onion sliced very thin.
A few cloves thinly sliced garlic, to taste (sliced, not crushed or minced, dammit)
Two medium to largish tomatoes, peeled and seeded
One or two hot pepper pods (optional)

One large bunch collard greens

Wash the collard greens carefully and remove the leaves from the stems. Most people throw out the stems, but I love the stems. Chop the leaves and stems, if you are using them, coarsely. Put the greens in large pot with some water and salt and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the greens and reserve the pot liquor.

Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Add a thinly sliced onion and cook very slowly over low heat until the onion softens and begins to color. Add the garlic slices. Chop the peeled tomatoes into large chunks and add to the onions along with hot peppers and cook for a few minutes more. Add to the drained greens and cook, stirring, for several minutes more. Add a bit of the reserved pot liquor, if it becomes to dry. Drink the remaining pot liquor.

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Blogger Amy W. said...

I think I'll pass on the collard greens. (Actually, I don't think they are sold here.)

12:51 AM  

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