My latest veggie fascination...........(please share your fav recipe!!)

Collard Greens!!! I’ve made them a handful of times because my “southern” father likes them, but my results have been less than spectacular. Lately a new bbq place by me serves them as a side and they are delicious!! Love them! I even recently tried a canned version that were rather good…however I would like to make them this good at home.

So let me have them!!!

(I’m aware I can google this but what fun would that be?)

Ah, now I’ve eaten collard greens in Southern BBQ places. I like them - but I struggle to think of anything I’ve not liked in a Southern BBQ place. OK, maybe the banana pudding at the Smokehouse, Galax, VA - but nothing else.

We don’t have collards in the UK - at least not under that name. Would I be right in thinking that they are just a loose leaf cabbage (in which case I could use what we call “spring greens”) or are they a specific vegetable.

I do believe they are part of the cabbage family and most likely would be considered a spring green as you call them.

In which case, I look forward to reading folks’ suggestions.

I’m still trying to perfect my “pulled pork at home” technique. It’ll go nicely.

They are a brassica/cabbage family. They grow all summer here (in a friend’s plot) and on into the fall. Quite large leaves. It is my understanding you have to cook the sh*t out of them to get anything edible. I despise kale, can’t image liking collards. Swiss chard, OTOH, we love.

2 Likes

That is part of the process, I’ve boiled them for hours on end. However it seems they get to a point of tenderness and that’s it, boil them another 6 hours and they remain at the same level.

Collards–the indestructible vegetable!

1 Like

Collards are amazing when done well. You definitely need some ham hocks to boil with the greens to give it that distinct Southern flavor. If I see the guy I used to work with, I’ll try to get his recipe. His are the best I’ve tasted outside of a true Southern BBQ restaurant.

The way I have been making them is some ham (hock) or other, onions, boiled in chicken stock with white vinegar and let boil simmer for several hours. Strain and serve with the onion and ham mixed in the collards. The flavor was “ok” but not like these that I’ve been having.

Sugar, smoked turkey leg, cider vinegar
The rest pretty much the same
Edit: hot sauce to taste
Re the sugar I use raw but brown works

Sugar? Really??? Uggghhhhhhhh

1 Like

Yes

use mangalitsa fat!
I give my fat away to people who loves it sauteed with their greens.
New dimension

Apparently there are “secret” recipes that use a pound (!) of bacon that is rendered first, then remove actual bacon pcs and saute onion in the fat, add in smoked whatever meat ham hock or turkey leg and seasonings with greens and water and hot pepper etc,… i think the trick isn’t cooking forever so much as cooking low and then resting to let it all co-mingle. The greens are tender at about an hour but take on more flavor after sitting together a long while.

1 Like

Patty Labelle’s Screaming Mean Greens. I make them like this every time. I skip the meat sometimes, or sometime I add a ham bone instead.

1 Like

Excellent, even made with oil instead of butter:

Pretty good:

Haven’t tried, but got me curious:

2 Likes

John, they are a specific vegetable.

I despise them, but I saw them offered up regularly at the ethnic groceries I shopped at in Paris. The African, Asian, and Arabic markets all carried them, as did even the big Auchan, in the exotic section.

JR, consider upgrading to mustard or turnip greens. Both have more flavor and are more tender.

I did cook them for a Southern-born ex…i boiled a smoked ham hock (sub smoked turkey if you like) to make a ham stock, then simmered the leaves for a couple of hours, adding s & p and Tabasco to taste. This earned the coveted award of “good as momma’s”

1 Like

My grandma used fat back and pork hocks, low and slow all day

It’s the long cooking that gets me. Reminds me, not in a good way, of long boiled cabbage at school dinners. I think I may have to pass on trying to replicate this with “spring greens” - finely shredded and steamed for five minutes, they’re done. Heavens knows what consistency they become after a couple of hours simmer.

All these are good but the fact that collards are tough means they can withstand very, very long cooking times without disintegrating - as with kale that’s the beauty of them - they’re not a salad vegetable. I had eaten them in soul food restaurants but I only learned how to cook them when I moved to NYC and was in a food coop that had people with roots in the South, who always ordered collards and turnip and mustard greens for the coop. It took me longer than it might have because I was a vegetarian at that time and it took me a while to figure out some kind of substitute for the smoked meat - I found that roasted garlic and roasted red peppers and olive oil worked really well. Most of the vegetarian recipes I saw for collards back then (the 80’s - but you still encounter them now)called for olive and fresh garlic and were not adequate to the task at all - more like Chinese style sauteed green recipes - and generally tended to seriously underestimate the cooking time.

i’d also say that they have a very strong, acrid flavor, which benefits greatly from strong salty smoky flavorings. The acridness also works well when you eat them with heavy fried foods as they usually did in the past.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold