Quick Collard Greens
Here’s a way to prepare collard greens that cuts the cooking time down to a fraction of the long simmer typically associated with these tough leaves. In this case, the leaves are cut into very thin strips, which breaks the fibers and helps the greens wilt. The seasonings are lighter, too, with pork fatback, salt pork, or ham hocks being replaced with olive oil, chile flakes, and garlic.
1 bunch collard greens
2-3 garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
a pinch of chile flakes
3 tablespoons water or vegetable broth
1. Strip the stems from the collards and discard. Rinse the leaves and drain, but do not dry. Stack several of the leaves and roll them into a tight cylinder. Use a very sharp knife to slice the cylinder crosswise into strips (about ⅛-inch wide). Repeat until you have sliced all the greens. You will have about 5 cups total.
2. Slice the garlic cloves. Pound the garlic in a mortar and pestle with the salt until it is a paste.
3. Set a saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, chile flakes, and garlic, and sauté, stirring, about 15 seconds. Add the collard greens and turn over with the garlic and chile flakes to mix.
4. Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes. If greens become too dry, add the water or broth. The collards are finished when wilted and somewhat soft. If you prefer your collard greens more tender, cover with a lid and cook 5 minutes longer. Season with additional salt if needed.
Thanks to the Sellwood Garden Club for this recipe.