Collard greens are an extremely healthy and delicious part of the southern table. They are rich in Vitamin A, K, and C with plenty of good natural fiber. Whether preparing mustard, turnip, kale, chard, or in this case, collard greens, all of these options are also a good source of vitamin E, copper, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B5, vitamin B1, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, and potassium. Each type of green varies slightly in pungency, with the mustard greens being slightly more hot or spicy with rich vegetable flavor. When pairing this side dish with a meal, think of the greens counter-acting against something decadent, like fried chicken or mashed potatoes with white gravy. Greens in all their forms accomplish this balancing act and, in my opinion, can even stand-alone or with a bit of added pickled ham or bacon mixed in.
Try it with a side of fresh hot cornbread. I always serve mine with a clear vinegar pepper sauce. Given the nutritional value, this is an excellent food to get addicted to.
Beverage Pairings: Ice cold Pilsner Beer, Southern Style Iced Tea
Tim's collard greens
- large dutch style oven or pot with lid
- cutting board
- knife, chef
- tongs or kitchen spoon
- measuring cups and spoons
- 3-4 strips of bacon
- 3 lbs collard greens, cleaned and stemmed
- 1 whole onion, roughly chopped
- 1 whole leek, most of the green part removed, washed well, cut in half, and sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced finely minced
- ⅓ cup vinegar, apple cider
- 1½ tsp. sugar, granulated (Optional Stevia or sugar substitute for Keto, Paleo)
- 1 tsp. marjoram, dried
- 1 tsp. chile, red, flake (optional)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- To taste salt and coarse grind black pepper to taste
- 1 lb. of chopped pickled ham or regular ham (optional)
- In a large pot, render 3-4 slices of bacon over medium-high heat; when cooked, remove and rough chop for later. Save the bacon drippings.
- Remove all of the stems from the greens first, then chop and reserve.
- Stack a good-sized bunch of the cleaned, de-stemmed greens together like a deck of cards.
- Roll up in a cigar shape and slice into rounds. You can cut these rounds once again if you prefer small strands of cooked greens later.
- Dice one whole white or yellow onion.
- Finely mince two large cloves of garlic with skins removed.
- To the large pot with bacon drippings, add the onion, garlic, and reserved collard stems. Cook until the onions and stems are soft.
- Add the chopped greens, apple cider vinegar, sugar, marjoram, red chili flake, and chicken stock to the pot.
- Bring the stock to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 1½ to 2 hours, or until desired tenderness.
- Just before serving, return reserved chopped bacon and ham and heat through.