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umm, what do I do with collards?

So my first week of my CSA has made it very clear that my mama didn't like greens! I don't think I ate spinach before I left home, and there certainly weren't slow-cooked collards. I managed to figure out the swiss chard, and I've made bok choy once before, but to be perfectly honest, I didn't even know what the collard greens were when I pulled them out of the bag.

So, what do I do with them?

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  1. Strip out the big woody stem. Stack the stem-free leaves and roll them like you're making a gigantic basil chiffonade. Slice one-inch thick and wash the cut greens thoroughly.

    Melt about a tablespoon of bacon fat over low heat in a large saucepan. Stir the washed (and preferably dried) greens into the bacon fat a handful at a time, wilting each handful before adding the next. Add one cup chicken stock, salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Bring to a boil then simmer over low heat until tender, at least 30 minutes. Add a little water if it threatens to run dry. Serve alongside grilled or smoked meat of your choice, or a pot of beans. Cornbread is always welcome.

    1. Cut out the stem; blanch them in boiling water with some bacon or duck fat in it to coat, then shock them in ice water. Stack them flat on top of each other, 6-8 thick and grill.... makes a nice side.. the outer ones get all crispy, the inner ones steamed tender..

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      1. re: grant.cook

        I never thought of grilling collards before (and I grill alot of stuff). It sounds great...I'll be trying it next time I fire up the grill!

        I just made a callaloo soup with collards and salt beef - beautiful green color and tasty. I can post my recipe if interested.

      2. Find a recipe for gumbo z'herbes - green gumbo. You can use a LOT of greens in that..

        1. 1. fill the sink with water and put the greens in and swish around a lot.
          2. drain and shake dry.
          3. remove the center rib. (easiest way is to pull the leafy part from the bottom and repeat on the other side.It's okay to have the skinny end of the rib still attached)
          4. chop an onion and saute in bacon grease.
          5. transfer the onion to a stockpot and add the greens. and a whole cayenne or serrano pepper
          6. add 1 or 2 smoked ham hocks or neck bones.
          7. cover and cook, over low heat stirring occasionally and add a little water if needed to keep the greens wet.(this probably won't be necessary, but you can if it needs it)
          8. cook for about 2-2 1/2 hours and serve with skillet cornbread.
          this is even better if you mix with turnip greeens and mustard greens, cleaned and trimmed the same way.

          1. The next day for lunch, squeeze the pot likker from a good sized handful of greens. (save the likker!)
            Slather two pieces of good quality bread with mayo, top with the greens, season to taste and enjoy!
            The leftovers also make a killer frittata. Mix with eggs and bit of sharp pecorino cheese and cook very slowly til set. Eat at slightly warm room temperature.