CEiMB: Short-Cut Collard Greens

Greens are a staple of Southern cooking, and being that I’ve lived in Georgia for nearly twenty years now, you might find it surprising to know that until this week’s CEiMB recipe, I had never tried collard greens. You can blame my Yankee mother for that, I guess :) Like most country-style cooking, greens are usually prepared in a way that manages to void all nutritional value, so I was excited to see Ellie’s take on this homestyle standard.

A couple years ago I discovered kale and have enjoyed it prepared many different ways, so I was optimistic about having a similar positive experience with collard greens. My anticipation grew after reading several other CEiMBers great reviews. Having never sampled collard greens before, I wasn’t sure what a traditional recipe would look like, but I liked the sound of salty bacon, cider vinegar to tone down the bitterness, sweet maple syrup, and a dash of heat with the red pepper flakes in Ellie’s recipe. All the components sounded perfect together.

While I was at the store, I saw a bag of kale greens next to the bag of collard greens I ended up getting. For a brief second, I thought about using the kale in place of collards since I know I enjoy kale, but I decided to push myself to try something new. In retrospect, I’m glad I tried the collard greens, but I think I would have preferred this recipe with kale. I can’t really put in to words the differences between the two types of greens, but I just think I prefer the flavor of the kale ever so slightly. I will definitely use this technique to cook greens again though. The smoky, salty, sweet, spicy all went together beautifully, and I’m glad I got to try this recipe!

Short-Cut Collard Greens

1 lb Collard Greens
1 tbsp Water
2 oz Canadian Style Bacon
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
1 tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
3/4 cup Chicken Broth Low Sodium

You can find cleaned and cut collard greens in a bag in your produce department which are ready to be cooked, or you can buy it whole in bunches. If you buy it in a bunch you will need to remove the stems and center ribs from the collard greens and discard. Then, cut the leaves into 1/2-inch strips.

Place the greens into a large, microwave-safe bowl with the water and cover tightly. Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat a large skillet and cook the bacon for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the bacon from the pan, chop, and set aside. Add the oil and onion to the pan and cook until onions have softened, about 2 minutes. Add the collard greens and stir in the vinegar, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Add the chopped bacon to the pan, and season with salt.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”, p. 256
4 servings | 2 POINTS

Be sure to check back for next week’s CEiMB post: Salmon Florentine and Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts

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June 13, 2010. recipes.

9 Comments

  1. Kayte replied:

    Oh, this looks so good and so inspiring. I could not find collard greens (this is Indiana and I have never even seen them on a menu or in the stores) but Joanne suggested using spinach and I have easy access to that, so hopefully get to that soon and get it posted. So happy we are keeping this going…I ccok constantly from Ellie’s books and we have loved it all.

  2. April in CT replied:

    I’ve been wanting to try kale for a while so I bought some today after reading this recipe (no collards to be found at our grocery, thank you for mentioning kale)! I grew up in GA and I love collard greens, but I’m trying new veggies so I’m looking forward to giving it a go!

  3. Jessica replied:

    Oh man! I have not had good collard greens in way too long! These look fabulous!

  4. Liz replied:

    I am so happy that my post inspired you to go out and try a new veggie! I think that is the best blog compliment I’ve ever gotten :) I really love kale, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. Be sure to write back and let me know how it goes!

    I’ve also posted two other kale recipes that I wanted to share with you: https://thenotsoskinnykitchen.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/kale-with-onions-and-bacon/ https://thenotsoskinnykitchen.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/zuppa-toscana/

    I actually first had it in the soup which gave me the courage to try it on its own. I’ve heard of people making kale chips by baking the leaves, but I have yet to try that. Basically, in case you aren’t crazy about this recipe – don’t give up!

    Good luck! I can’t wait for you to report back :)

  5. April in CT replied:

    Liz, it was a success!! My husband really liked it (if you only knew how monumental this is with veggies) and I could have eaten the whole dish. I do have to fess up that I forgot (I seem to have never ending brain fog lately!) I had tried kale chips a while back and he didn’t like them at all and I wasn’t crazy about them. So, after that experience I was skeptical but am so glad I tried it again because this is a new favorite. I look forward to trying the other recipes you posted too! Best believe when it gets cool again that soup is first on my list to try. I’m so excited to add kale as a regular item on my grocery list! :)

  6. peggy replied:

    Delicious weren’t they? I could eat a pot of them again this week. I just might! Thanks for cooking this week since our group is having issues.

  7. Elina replied:

    I’ve never had proper collard greens either. Maybe I’ll give this recipe a go soon :)

  8. Joanne replied:

    Great job on those greens! We are plodding along and have the recipe up for this week AND… have noted next weeks recipe. Keep on cooking! :)

  9. Bri replied:

    Hey, thanks for the great idea! We love kale (we’re actually growing some right now!) and I think this would be fantastic with kale. Glad you tried the collards, though.

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