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What exactly are collard greens and how do I cook them?

Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 29, 2011 01:46 PM

I love, Love, LOVE collard greens! I always get them when they are on the menu. However, growing up here in NJ, I really don't know if they are a vegetable called collard greens, or the tops of some other kind of green. I've never seen them labeled as such at Shop-Rite. Did I mention that I really LOVE them?

I'd really like to buy some and cook them up. I won't have any problem eating them every night as leftovers. But I have no idea how to cook them, once I figure out what exactly they are. So, please fill me in. And if you have a great recipe, I need that too. I'm dying to make some of my own. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE collard greens?!

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  1. r
    rjbh20 Mar 29, 2011 02:11 PM

    Yes, Collard greens are a vegetable called collard greens (or Collards). Part of the brassica family that includes cabbage & other sulfurous veg.

    Not that hard to find in the Northeast, but not ubiquitous either. They're big leafy greens on rather tough stalks -- sort of a cross between gigantic spinach and a rubber tree plant. Look in markets that cater to Hispanic and/or African American clientele if you're having trouble locally.

    As to cooking, first you need to clean in cold water to get rid of the inevitable grit (soaking for 10 minutes is a good idea) then remove the stems/stalks. Roll the leaves up into a bundle and cut in a rough chiffonade. Get a smoked ham hock, neck bones or other smoked meat of your choice & boil for 30 minutes to make stock. Add your greens, season with salt, pepper & red pepper flake (some add a little sugar and/or onion) and simmer until done.

    NB: A grocery sack full of raw greens will cook down to enough to feed about 4 - 6 people, so shop accordingly. This quantity, btw, is referred to as a mess.

    30 Replies
    1. re: rjbh20
      bayoucook Mar 29, 2011 02:26 PM

      There're a regular on our table down here. I cook mine pretty much like you do, but I add onion and garlic and some chopped turnip root. The juice from the cooked greens in called pot liquor and is so good over crumbled cornbread. We always use pepper sauce too.

      1. re: bayoucook
        f
        Floridagirl Mar 29, 2011 03:24 PM

        That's how I cook them too. I cook for a few hours. I know that's not popular anymore but I can't do it any other way.

        1. re: bayoucook
          Uncle Bob Mar 29, 2011 07:04 PM

          That's "Pot Likker". ~~ I eat collards/all greens in a small bowl....When the greens are gone you pick up da bowl and drink the pot likker....Nectar of the Gods.........:)

          1. re: Uncle Bob
            mamachef Mar 30, 2011 07:35 AM

            ......with delicious, un-sweet cornbread crumbled atop, yeah? Mental Food porn!
            The stuff is truly inebriating and just.....so........right. Oh. Don't forget a splash of vinegar, preferably hot.

            1. re: mamachef
              Uncle Bob Mar 30, 2011 09:03 AM

              You... are so right!!!

            2. re: Uncle Bob
              c oliver Mar 30, 2011 07:46 AM

              About 50 years ago, I remember that my mother was anemic and her doctor "prescribed" the drinking of pot likker. Since Southerners were cooking all the stuff out of their greens it was recapturing some of it. At least that was the rationale at the time. And, yeah, mamachef, crumbled "real" cornbread is the best. I haven't had breakfast yet but think I've have to settle for asiago toast and an egg :) (Try that bread at Safeway. It's really good.)

              1. re: c oliver
                mamachef Mar 30, 2011 07:57 AM

                I love that bread; especially the top, going from pale golden actual shreds of melted asiago to deep brown crunchy, caramelized cheese up top.....
                awesome with tunafish salad.......
                I really wish I could eat. Dinner tonight for me, post dental work, is "roth." If I could really, really move my lips, it would be "broth" but tonight it's "roth."

              2. re: Uncle Bob
                bayoucook Mar 30, 2011 08:00 AM

                I had spelled it Pot Likker then took it back and spelled it pot liquor. Since they didn't know what collards were I was afraid that *real* term would mystify them. I eat mine in a bowl too - want all the PL right there contained in the bowl with the cornbread underneath it and the hot vinegary sauce on top. Want some now.

                1. re: bayoucook
                  Uncle Bob Mar 30, 2011 01:25 PM

                  Makes perfectly good sense to me....Would you pass me that jar of pepper sauce please??
                  ;)

                  1. re: Uncle Bob
                    mamachef Mar 31, 2011 12:34 PM

                    Ladies and Mamas first, please.

                2. re: Uncle Bob
                  jmckee Mar 30, 2011 10:38 AM

                  As Justin Wilson once said, "People gonna wonder why you comin' out of the kitchen lickin' you chops all the time."

                  Per Jus-TAHN, I add white wine and a splash of soy sauce when cooking them.

                3. re: bayoucook
                  c oliver Mar 29, 2011 07:47 PM

                  Tell me you don't "chiffonade." :) If I do anything to them it's a VERY rough chop, once through only.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    Quine Mar 29, 2011 08:00 PM

                    OMG I stopped using that term the 2nd time I heard Bobby Fley use it, way back in the Grillin and Chillin days.

                    1. re: Quine
                      c oliver Mar 29, 2011 08:15 PM

                      Oh, I definitely do a chiffonade but not with collards. Basil-type uses.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        huiray Mar 30, 2011 08:10 AM

                        Well, I do.

                        Then, add the fine chiffonade (done with stems present - i,e, entire leaves, if they are relatively young/smaller leaves) to chicken stock or similar, bring back to a boil, then simmer till softened plus a bit - maybe 5 min or so. Makes a nice soup with greens that have some texture/bite (but not chewy) to them.

                        Of course, cooking them in the US southern style can't be done with an actual chiffonade of them unless you want a pile of mush.

                        1. re: huiray
                          c oliver Mar 30, 2011 08:24 AM

                          I've done a saute with not fine slices. Can't remember what's in it and not at home to check.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            huiray Mar 30, 2011 09:11 AM

                            Aren't collard greens a classic accompaniment to Feijoada in Brazil? Here's one recipe that uses a fine chiffonade, simply sautéed with olive oil and salt till just wilted. http://uma-mi.blogspot.com/2009/11/th...

                            I essentially do the same on occasion too, sometimes with minced garlic, or sliced/julienned ginger, or nothing at all besides oil, just as a kind-of stirfried leafy greens dish to eat with whatever else I am having as an appropriate veggie. Once in a while I might splash some balsamic vinegar into it before taking it off the heat, or some nước mắm, depending on what else I am eating.

                            1. re: huiray
                              c oliver Mar 30, 2011 01:40 PM

                              Definitely re the feijoada. But it's more like a condiment. While one could take some as a side dish, it's down at the end of the table with the pork "crumbles," farofa, etc. Heading back there in a few weeks. Haven't checked the calendar to see how many Saturdays we're going to be there for feijoada :)

                        2. re: c oliver
                          h
                          hazelhurst Mar 30, 2011 09:21 AM

                          Somehow "chiffonade" seems high-falutin' fer collards. INcidentally, see Huey Long's discussion of such things, and pot likker/liquor, in teh Congressional Record. The TImes-Picayune picked a fight with him on whether to dunk or crumble the cornbread.

                      2. re: c oliver
                        r
                        rjbh20 Mar 30, 2011 07:16 AM

                        Its a large chiffonade -- the technique, not the dimensions

                        1. re: rjbh20
                          c oliver Mar 30, 2011 07:30 AM

                          What's a large chiffonade?

                          1. re: c oliver
                            r
                            rjbh20 Mar 30, 2011 09:08 AM

                            Same as a regular one, only bigger.

                            1. re: rjbh20
                              n
                              Nocturnalbill Mar 30, 2011 11:00 AM

                              rimshot. Sorry, couldn't resist.

                      3. re: bayoucook
                        Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 30, 2011 09:51 AM

                        Now I understand the name pot liquor. And I'm a cornbread lover, so I'll be making sure I have some freshly baked to go along with the collard greens.

                      4. re: rjbh20
                        q
                        Querencia Mar 29, 2011 08:16 PM

                        You can also buy them frozen, chopped. Not all supermarkets have them but many do. Easy. Collards do well in a slow-cooker---let them and your smoked meat cook for a LONG time. I grew up thinking that spinach was the only form of "greens" and have been so happy to discover collards, turnip greens, and mustard greens. Different flavors.

                        1. re: Querencia
                          c oliver Mar 29, 2011 08:46 PM

                          I waited too late to buy my New Year's collards (for wealth) and had to settle for frozen. I won't EVER do that again. I added enough vinegar and hot sauce to cover up the taste. Worse than bland, they were pretty nasty. I don't recommend them.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            b
                            billyjack Mar 29, 2011 09:48 PM

                            Frozen collards are pretty bad; I'd rather not eat them at all than eat frozen. Which is strange, because collards that freeze while they're in the ground end up tasting better...but frozen after picking seems to suck all the taste out of them.

                            1. re: billyjack
                              m
                              Miss Priss Apr 23, 2011 07:45 AM

                              Agreed. The frozen chopped collards are completely unacceptable as to both flavor and texture.

                          2. re: Querencia
                            Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 30, 2011 09:53 AM

                            I'm a fan of low and slow cooking. It helps me get great food on the table while I'm away at work. I'm going to put this on my list of ways to cook them up.

                          3. re: rjbh20
                            Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 30, 2011 09:49 AM

                            Well, I've just checked back and wow! So many lovers of collard greens. I'm working my way through all the replies little by little. Thanks for the great overview. I'm definitely going to have to call around for them.

                          4. b
                            BadRabbitAU Mar 29, 2011 02:14 PM

                            Collards are just a big leafy green like turnips. I'm guessing they're not as readily available up your way as they are where I live. You probably will have to call around.

                            Cooking them is very easy. The hard part is cleaning them as they tend to hold a fair amount of grit (though not as much as turnip greens). Cut the stalks off and cut into pieces after cleaning.

                            To cook, just cover with water and season with salt and pork (usually fatback and smoked hocks though you could easily just use bacon). If you really want to avoid using actual pork, you can use Goya Jamon seasoning that is usually available in the Mexican food section.

                            They are traditionally served with pepper sauce. Not tabasco style pepper sauce but the kind that has whole peppers in the jar covered with vinegar.

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: BadRabbitAU
                              h
                              hazelhurst Mar 29, 2011 02:24 PM

                              The grit problem was brilliantly solved by the MIssissippi Delta chinese families--at least that's where I got it. Put greens of any kind into a net bag like stockings are washerd in. throw in washing machine for rinse and spin. Works great.

                              1. re: hazelhurst
                                Quine Mar 29, 2011 02:32 PM

                                Isn't that a HUGE waste of water and energy? Just trying to stay a bit more green. Green on Greens!

                                1. re: Quine
                                  huiray Mar 30, 2011 08:19 AM

                                  ...or do it the way done commonly in many other parts of the world esp. in East/SE Asia - plop them into a basin of water - those dish washing tubs work just fine in a home kitchen (just use a clean sink with a plug if you don't want to use a basin) - swish them around a little, let them sit in the water a bit, fish them out and dump in a colander, dump the water, rinse out basin, repeat. Great for washing fresh spinach, especially - you'd be surprised how nicely all the sand and grit falls off to the bottom of the water even with pre-washed spinach.

                                  1. re: huiray
                                    Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 30, 2011 09:56 AM

                                    I'm intrigued by using the washing machine! I think it would have a huge WOW factor on the family. Shock and awe for the first collard greens meal! But in reality, I'm probably going the basin route. It seems a little greener and more friendly.

                                    1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes
                                      c oliver Mar 30, 2011 01:44 PM

                                      Actually anywhere I see them in the last many, many years they're all clean and tidy and WAY too expensive!!! One bundle will be $2 and that's maybe 4 or 5 leaves; not even enough for me. (A little story. When I was barely walking, I climbed a kitchen chair to get to the table where my mother had placed the collards and was turned away serving up the rest of the meal. When she turned back to the table, there I sat with an overful mouth of them.)

                                      1. re: c oliver
                                        Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 30, 2011 01:48 PM

                                        I can see that! That's just how GOOD they are!

                                        1. re: c oliver
                                          huiray Mar 30, 2011 01:55 PM

                                          Really? Oh dear. Around my parts, collards are available anywhere from $0.99 to maybe $1.49 or so a bundle of somewhere around 6-8 medium to large leaves usually plus cuttings of young leaves/shoots bundled in, at the usual supermarkets, essentially year-round... or somewhere around $2-3/pound at Farmers' Markets for stuff picked the day before especially in the spring.

                                2. re: BadRabbitAU
                                  b
                                  beethoven May 2, 2011 10:32 AM

                                  So, do you just use the vinegar/juice? or spoon out the whole peppers and eat them, or what?
                                  (ignorant Northerner here...)

                                  1. re: beethoven
                                    h
                                    hazelhurst May 2, 2011 10:41 AM

                                    He (she) is takling about vinegar that has had peppers in it for awhile. I use bird's eye peppers mostly but you cna use anythig. Put them in an old Lea & perrins bottle, heat some vinegar--it boils faway fast so watch out---and pour it in. I let it sit a couple of weeks before using on any sort of greens, sometimes in soup etc.

                                    1. re: beethoven
                                      hohokam May 2, 2011 11:33 AM

                                      Trappey's hot peppers in vinegar (see link below) was the standard in our house when I was growing up. We would splash a little of the vinegar onto our spinach (and bowls of pinto beans). Every so often, my mother would top off the bottle with some plain white vinegar. Once the peppers lost their oomph, a new bottle of Trappey's would be bought.

                                      http://www.amazon.com/Trappeys-Pepper...

                                      1. re: hohokam
                                        c oliver May 2, 2011 11:56 AM

                                        That's what I've always used and what I've done - topping it off. Lacking that just plain white vinegar.

                                        1. re: c oliver
                                          h
                                          hazelhurst May 2, 2011 01:07 PM

                                          malt vingar, as the British use on chips, is also a good substitute.

                                          Incidentally, dog-lovers everywhere should be offended that US television never showed the Irish Wolfhound ("Conmael") that led the Irish Guards at the London hitchin' last Friday. Inexcuseable. He eats tripe and buttered toast, just to keep it on food.

                                          1. re: hazelhurst
                                            c oliver May 2, 2011 01:40 PM

                                            Now THAT dog has great taste. Sounds like a perfect combo to me.

                                  2. Quine Mar 29, 2011 02:31 PM

                                    I have bought collard greens at the Manahawkin Shop-Rite. Since I like cooking kale more often I don't know if collards are always there.

                                    I like my kale shredded as described above, then pan steamed with some garlic and lots of ginger. I cook the aromatics in Olive oil then add the just washed greens, lid on tight and heat lowered. The water left on the washed greens is usually sufficient.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Quine
                                      Quine Mar 31, 2011 02:30 PM

                                      Was at the Shop Rite in Waretown today, collard greens offered for 0.99 per pound.

                                    2. c
                                      Constant Velocity Mar 29, 2011 02:40 PM

                                      I chiffonade the greens (after stripping them their stems, which need to be cooked a long time to be edible) and sautee them in a pan and then throw in some balsamic vinegar and let it reduce a bit. For years I thought you had to cook the collards to death, but an "upscale southern" restaurant near me served them sauteed, and I'm a convert. I give them around 8 minutes in the pan on medium to medium-high heat and then an additional 2 or 3 minutes while the vinegar reduces. If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll throw some minced onion into the pan to start cooking before I throw the collards in. I eat this at least once a week.

                                      I'm not sure I ever cooked collards back when I lived in New Jersey, but I'm guessing they might be easier to find pre-shredded in a plastic bag rather than in whole-leaf form.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Constant Velocity
                                        Quine Mar 29, 2011 02:45 PM

                                        Have never seen the pre shredded or pre packaged where I have shopped in NJ. But never thought to look for them like that.

                                        1. re: Quine
                                          hohokam Mar 29, 2011 03:01 PM

                                          Like you, I've neither looked for nor seen straight-up bagged collards, but in its West Coast stores, Trader Joe's sells a bagged "Southern greens" mix that has collards, mustard greens, turnips greens, and (I think) spinach. I have seen frozen collards at larger "ethnic" supermarkets, but I've never felt the urge to buy them with the fresh stuff being just a couple of aisles over.

                                          1. re: hohokam
                                            Ed Dibble Mar 30, 2011 09:09 AM

                                            The bagged greens are OK - in fact, I learned to mix some mustard or turnip greens with my collards from those mixed bags - but I find them too stemmy.

                                        2. re: Constant Velocity
                                          MVNYC Mar 29, 2011 03:45 PM

                                          You don't need to cook collards for a long time. You can lightly sautee them too without cooking them to death. They are more toothsome but definitely edible and I would imagine more nutritious

                                          1. re: Constant Velocity
                                            Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 30, 2011 10:00 AM

                                            I think that I'll have to also try the saute option as well. I thought that I had tasted a vinegary taste in the greens, and the balsamic vinegar might have been that flavor. Cooking test number two!

                                          2. EricMM Mar 29, 2011 03:12 PM

                                            I love collards also. In NYC, I can get them in any supermarket, frequently organic also. I also grow my own. I cook either plain, with salted water, when I do it as a side veggie, or I make a main meal using chorizo, black beans, potatoes along with the collards. I'll just use a little chicken broth as the liquid. I I want to be fancy, I'll add littleneck or cherrystone clams...in which case I don't use the broth.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: EricMM
                                              MVNYC Mar 29, 2011 03:45 PM

                                              The farmers markets in NY usually have them in the late summer to early winter.

                                            2. hambone Mar 29, 2011 03:21 PM

                                              While "collard greens" strictly refers to one plant's leafy parts, I find that often the term is used for several greens including: kale, mustard greens and turnip greens -- sometimes even beet tops or chard.

                                              24 Replies
                                              1. re: hambone
                                                hohokam Mar 29, 2011 03:38 PM

                                                Really? I've never heard of that.

                                                I wonder if that is specific to a certain region. I've definitely heard people refer to collards simply as "greens", but I've never heard of other greens being referred to as "collards". The general idea is certainly familiar--when I was growing up in Texas, all sodas were referred to as "Cokes".

                                                1. re: hohokam
                                                  hambone Mar 29, 2011 03:57 PM

                                                  I think it is probably about my being from NYC.

                                                  And I should have added, I firmly believe that greens have to be cooked slowly. There has to be some smoked protein involved (I prefer pig but you can do well with a smoked turkey wing, too.) And there needs to be some vinegar and some red pepper flakes.

                                                  And I like at least a bunch of kale in there!

                                                  1. re: hambone
                                                    huiray Mar 30, 2011 08:47 AM

                                                    Hmm. Have you ever eaten "green, leafy vegetables" from the brassica/mustard family done in a non-USAmerican way? Cooked in a Cantonese, Szechuan, Bengali, Mexican, etc etc way?

                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                      c
                                                      Constant Velocity Mar 30, 2011 10:31 AM

                                                      Yes--Punjabi sarson ka saag with mustard greens. Here's a recipe:

                                                      http://yasmeen-healthnut.blogspot.com...

                                                      Somehow unsurprisingly served with cornbread, called makki di roti.

                                                      1. re: Constant Velocity
                                                        huiray Mar 30, 2011 10:43 AM

                                                        Heh. Good for you.

                                                        The greater point, I suppose, is that it is eminently possible to enjoy cruciferous greens in a preparation that does not involve some sort of smoked meat.

                                                      2. re: huiray
                                                        hambone Mar 31, 2011 12:41 PM

                                                        I should have written:

                                                        "And I should have added, I firmly believe that "Greens" have to be cooked..."

                                                        I meant only the Southern US style of greens, not all greens.

                                                        Though for the life of me I can't think of Mexican greens. (This has piqued my curiosity.)

                                                        1. re: hambone
                                                          mamachef Mar 31, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                          hambone, I know for sure that spinach (espinaca) is used in Mexican cooking, and I've seen a Rick Bayless recipe for Garlicky Mexican Greens that called for chard.

                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                            hambone Apr 4, 2011 04:52 PM

                                                            I love me some chard. And always look forward to an excuse to buy a new cookbook. (Does this one have his seven thousand ingredient mole? 'cause I have a free weekend coming up...)

                                                            1. re: hambone
                                                              mamachef Apr 4, 2011 05:15 PM

                                                              i can do you one better and just post the recipe for the chard here, how's that? Then you can blow your cash on whichever book of his contains that mole recipe for Sure! Will do, before tomorrow.

                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                hambone Apr 4, 2011 05:18 PM

                                                                I like the way you think.

                                                                1. re: hambone
                                                                  mamachef Apr 5, 2011 08:04 AM

                                                                  Here you be, boney:

                                                                  This recipe calls for the greens to be rolled in tortillas for serving; of course you can do that, or not. Oh, and Feta makes a good sub. for the Mexican cheese if you can't obtain it. And if you haven't got a steamer for the tortillas, you can wrap them in damp paper towels and nuke them, or crisp them in very hot oil, briefly; or even wrap in a slightly damp dishtowl and put in a low oven to warm.

                                                                  8-10 corn tortillas

                                                                  1/2 t. salt, and another for blanching greens

                                                                  6 loosely-packed cups (1 -12 oz. bunch) Green or Red chard, rinsed and chopped

                                                                  1 T. oil, any kind

                                                                  1 onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick

                                                                  4 smashed minced garlic cloved

                                                                  1/2-1 c. cheese: Fresco, Anejo, Cotija, Feta or fresh Parmesan, crumbled or grated

                                                                  Salsa of choice; optional

                                                                  Start two pots of water a'boiling: one w/ about 3 qts. salted water, one with just an inch or so. While you are prepping the greens you can steam the tortillas, but if you're not using tortillas just completely ignore this part. Okay; when 3 qt. pot is at a full boil, blanch your greens for two minutes; remove, cool and drain well. Heat oil, and saute onion until just soft. Add garlic, and saute for about two minutes. Add greens; Saute another 2-3 minutes, blend well and taste for salt. Top with cheese (which is also optional but really adds a lovely taste) and roll into tortillas, or serve in service dish. Enjoy!

                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                    hambone Apr 5, 2011 08:28 AM

                                                                    Sounds like something even the little ones will enjoy. Thanks for the follow up and the suggestion!

                                                                    The second pot of water was just for steaming the tortillas, right?

                                                                    (I usually do my tortillas right on the gas burner.)

                                                                    1. re: hambone
                                                                      mamachef Apr 5, 2011 08:35 AM

                                                                      Yep, that's what the second pot is for. If I'm using flour - which is pretty rare in these parts - I do the torts. the same way you do. Otherwise they've got to be steamed, else my husband declines to eat them. Which makes all the more for yours truly. : )
                                                                      Oh, and you're most welcome!

                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                        hambone Apr 7, 2011 01:43 PM

                                                                        Maybe that is why I never like the corn tortillas made at home. I don't steam them I chuck them on the burner.... hmmm.

                                                          2. re: hambone
                                                            hohokam Mar 31, 2011 12:54 PM

                                                            Poke around for recipes for "quelites", and you'll find examples of Mexican-style greens dishes. In "Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen" you can find recipes featuring greens as taco and enchilada filling as well as one where greens, masa dumplings, and black beans are combined to make a hearty (mostly/possibly) vegetarian main course.

                                                            1. re: hohokam
                                                              hambone Apr 4, 2011 04:54 PM

                                                              hmmm. That could work, too. Thanks.

                                                              I feel like Steingarten when he decides to list and conquer his food preconceptions.

                                                          3. re: huiray
                                                            d
                                                            dingey Apr 28, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                            I have a recipe somewhere that I pulled off the internet that's some Mexican variation on "beans-n-greens" that was simple and really stinkin' good. It was made with either mustard or turnip greens. It seems as if you just whir up some dried hot chilis in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, toss the greens and some cooked white beans in a pot with stock or broth, a little cumin, a lot of the dried pepper, and let it cook for a while......if I can track down the recipe again, I'll post it!

                                                          4. re: hambone
                                                            Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 30, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                            I like the addition of smoked ham of some sort. That'll be includeded, definitely!

                                                            1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes
                                                              h
                                                              hazelhurst Mar 30, 2011 10:10 AM

                                                              That'll gussy it up for the carriage trade (but they didn;t use to eat greens..po' folk food, y'know) but you can always use the salt pork bit which you cut down to but not thru the "rind" so it looks like a little book of pig fat pages. My favorite vingar is just a good one put over bird's eye peppers in an old Lea & Perrins bottle. Heat the vinegar first, let it sit a week or so. I also put the hard-cooked egg in my greens.

                                                              I always thought the washing machine was a great trick. Not really a lotta water needed when I have seen it done. THe basin/deep sink works OK but it seems that there is ALWAYS some grit left after wash No. 4 or 5.

                                                              1. re: hazelhurst
                                                                huiray Mar 30, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                Hmm, not in my experience, re the basin technique. I've never had veggies with any discernible grit/sand component after washing them this way. If the greens are really "dirty" you do need to swish them in the water, clump by clump if necessary, before fishing them out - or, roughly pre-washing them under the running tap if they are really gross before dumping them in the basin of water. then dump them in a fresh basin of water, etc. I RARELY have to do a third basin of water.

                                                            2. re: hambone
                                                              m
                                                              Miss Priss Apr 23, 2011 07:42 AM

                                                              Hambone, I've lived in NYC for decades and must defend the accuracy of our regional lexicon! I've never encountered the term "collards" or "collard greens" in reference to anything other than actual collard greens, whether it's in a restaurant, at a market, or in conversation.

                                                              1. re: Miss Priss
                                                                c oliver Apr 23, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                                Heavens to Betsy, plus one million gazillion!!! Collards are NOT turnip greens, mustard greens, kale or anything but collards. BTW, love your SN. Very Southern :)

                                                            3. re: hohokam
                                                              Quine Mar 29, 2011 04:04 PM

                                                              I've also heard the "greens", which is any collard, kale, mustard, turnip or mix therefore.

                                                            4. re: hambone
                                                              k
                                                              karenfinan Apr 22, 2011 07:52 PM

                                                              no, no, no, no,no. Collard greens are a specific type of green-different from all the others you mentioned.

                                                            5. rcallner Mar 29, 2011 03:47 PM

                                                              Try this from Epicurious, simple and very delicious. I added some diced dried apricots. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                              1. t
                                                                TuteTibiImperes Mar 29, 2011 07:09 PM

                                                                I love, and have always loved, collard greens. In fact, my parents tell me that back when I was a toddler growing up in Alabama, I'd ignore everything else on my plate and go right for the greens.

                                                                Since then I've played around with various methods, and this is how I like them best now:

                                                                1. Take a couple bunches of greens (and sometimes I will mix in a bunch of mustard or turnip greens with the collards) remove any fibrous stem portions, but leave the parts in the center of the leaf, and chop intro rough strips.

                                                                2. Brown a ham hock with some bacon grease, or saute some smokey bacon if you have no hock, at the bottom of a big pot. Throw in a couple chopped onions at this point to soften in the grease.

                                                                3. Toss in the greens and push them down a bit until the steam starts to escape them.

                                                                4. Pour in several cups of chicken stock, some salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, half a cup of vinegar, a few hearty shakes of a Louisiana style hot sauce (Franks, Texas Pete, Crystal, etc) and my new touch (after living for a long time in the mid-atlantic area, this crept in, but it works beautifully) a couple tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning. Add water until just covering the greens.

                                                                5. Bring to a rolling boil, then turn back the heat and let it simmer for a couple hours.

                                                                6. Optionally, serve with a condiment of finely diced white onions soaked in vinegar

                                                                These are even better reheated the next day.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                  Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 30, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                                  I like the use of chicken stock. That always improve flavor in my book. But what does the Old Bay seasoning add? I'm confused about that.

                                                                  1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes
                                                                    prima Mar 30, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                                    Old Bay adds a certain "je sais quoi" that I call celery seed! (But not just celery seed, also mustard, paprika, bay leaf, both black and red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, salt, mace and ginger.) But when I taste anything made with OId Bay, what I mostly taste is the celery seed.
                                                                    ;-) Ha ha.
                                                                    That being said, I know some people who love it!

                                                                  2. re: TuteTibiImperes
                                                                    d
                                                                    dingey Apr 28, 2011 10:50 AM

                                                                    Tute's recipe is the one I generally use, too. (minus the Old Bay, though now I'm intrigued!). I'll sometimes throw in some carrot and a pinch of brown sugar early in the process too, just to toss a tiny touch of sweet into the flavor mix.

                                                                  3. woodleyparkhound Mar 29, 2011 07:28 PM

                                                                    Here's a recipe for collards I really like. I made it for company and got accolades from everyone.

                                                                    1/2 lb. chorizo or other sausage, cut in small pieces
                                                                    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
                                                                    1 onion , minced
                                                                    6 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press
                                                                    2 teaspoons ground cumin
                                                                    2 pounds collard greens, ribs removed, leaves chopped into 3-inch pieces and rinsed
                                                                    1 cup chicken broth
                                                                    1cup water
                                                                    Table salt to taste
                                                                    3 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
                                                                    Ground black pepper to taste

                                                                    Cut sausage into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then cut slices in half. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Cook sausage in oil until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add greens, broth, water, and salt if desired; cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 35-45 minutes until collards are tender.

                                                                    Remove lid and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated (bottom of pot will be almost dry and greens will begin to sizzle), 8 to 12 minutes. Remove pot from heat; stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and remaining teaspoon lemon juice. Stir sausage into greens before serving.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: woodleyparkhound
                                                                      Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 30, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                                      The sausage sounds like a nice addition. This one's going on the list too.

                                                                      1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes
                                                                        woodleyparkhound Mar 30, 2011 09:16 PM

                                                                        This thread inspired me to make it tonight for dinner. It was excellent - and it went over great with the friends I served it to. I used a very spicy pork chorizo - that plus the cumin plus the lemon juice really made it zing. I tossed in the zest of one lemon for good measure. The sausage I used was impossible to slice. I removed the casings, then just crumbled it with a knife and did some further chopping of it with a spatula as I was stirring it. It turned out chunky, but that certainly didn't affect the taste, or the appearance.

                                                                        1. re: woodleyparkhound
                                                                          Heidi cooks and bakes Mar 31, 2011 12:01 PM

                                                                          I'm really envious...I went to one supermarket today at lunch, but no collard greens. I'm going to keep searching!

                                                                    2. c oliver Mar 29, 2011 07:54 PM

                                                                      What I've done a couple of times recently. I cut thin, small slices of pork belly and saute' with onions. Once brown, I dump in the collards and just enough water to cover. Cook til tender but not the hours long thing that I grew up doing in Atlanta. Do the pepper sauce thing as described upthread when serving. Oh, yeah, and the black-eyed peas and rice. Preferably in a layer of rice, peas and collards.

                                                                      1. Cherylptw Mar 29, 2011 08:11 PM

                                                                        I make mine most of the time like a lot of others here, that is, slow simmered with some type of smoked meat like ham hock, neck bones, smoked turkey wings or necks, etc. I'll add some minced garlic & onions, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes and maybe a splash of cider vinegar to serve. My mom always soaked the greens in a sink of warm water a couple of times, drained really well and put them in the pot with the leaves whole (stems removed). Once done, she'd chop them with a sharp butcher knife. I still do mine this way.

                                                                        I've also cooked collards in a slow cooker and oven cooked in a covered roaster. I really like the roaster method.... Now I want to make a pot of greens!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Cherylptw
                                                                          m
                                                                          MizAngelo Dec 31, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                                          In the roaster oven is what I want to do tomorrow! Can you give me specifics please? Blackeyed peas in the crockpot & collards in roaster oven would be perfect - frees up stove for pork loin & mexican cornbread!

                                                                        2. z
                                                                          ziggylu Mar 29, 2011 09:19 PM

                                                                          I love collards and have a planter box dedicated to them in the yard. Sometimes I boil them with a ham hock as others have suggested. Sometimes I braise with some garlic and chicken stock and finish with lemon. I also really like Byrant Terry's sauteed collard recipe with citrus and raisins: http://www.culinate.com/books/collections/all_books/Grub/Citrus+Collards+with+Raisins

                                                                          I've only made this recipe (mixed greens (i used all collards) with cornmeal dumplings) once but it was actually a big hit. Might have to make it again soon now that I'm thinking about it.
                                                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ziggylu
                                                                            c oliver Mar 29, 2011 09:24 PM

                                                                            Pretty late in the season to get collards.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                              z
                                                                              ziggylu Mar 29, 2011 09:37 PM

                                                                              they grow year round for me here in arizona.

                                                                              1. re: ziggylu
                                                                                c oliver Mar 29, 2011 09:43 PM

                                                                                That's amazing since they're a cool weather crop.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                  z
                                                                                  ziggylu Mar 29, 2011 09:47 PM

                                                                                  yeah...i dunno...i have really good luck with all greens. I have collards and chards that have been going strong for almost two years now. They slow up over the summer but don't die out . Can't say I really do anything special to them

                                                                                  On the other hand...I can't grow a zucchini to save my life. go figure.

                                                                                  1. re: ziggylu
                                                                                    c oliver Mar 29, 2011 09:57 PM

                                                                                    Lucky you on two counts. I don't like zucchini. Try a yellow crookneck this year.

                                                                                2. re: ziggylu
                                                                                  hohokam Mar 30, 2011 07:26 AM

                                                                                  I just picked a *big* batch from our central Phoenix garden yesterday.

                                                                                  We've also had collard plants ('Vates' variety) that have lived across all of our 4 growing seasons. The last couple of years, though, we've planted 'Georgia Southern', which we've pulled around April or May due to intense aphidification.

                                                                                  1. re: hohokam
                                                                                    z
                                                                                    ziggylu Mar 30, 2011 10:00 AM

                                                                                    I'm not sure what variety i have...nothing fancy...transplants I picked up at Lowe's back in Fall 2009. I don't do anything to them, they're in a planter box iwth the drip system.

                                                                                    Haven't had trouble with aphids on them either.

                                                                                    My biggest garden issue is lack of bees despite 5 citrus trees in full bloom, lantanas, mexican birds of paradise, and lots of in bloom petunias. This is the second year running we're not seeing bees. :-(

                                                                                    I'm making 10 bean soup tonight iwht a ham bone i have so I think I'll throw some collards in there.

                                                                                    1. re: ziggylu
                                                                                      hohokam Mar 30, 2011 10:51 AM

                                                                                      If you got them at Lowe's, they're probably Vates--it seems like that's the variety the commercial nursery trade deals in (as do the supermarkets). Our Vates plants were definitely sturdier than the Georgia Southern and didn't seem as susceptible to pests. The Georgia Southern variety tastes better to me, though.

                                                                                      If it weren't going to be so dang hot this week, I'd probably throw mine into a caldo verde-ish soup--chiffonaded, of course. ;-)

                                                                                      1. re: hohokam
                                                                                        z
                                                                                        ziggylu Mar 30, 2011 10:55 AM

                                                                                        Where did you get the Georgia Southern? Started from Seed? Bakers? Downtown market? I haven't really looked much at greens this year since everything has carried over so well. We've loved the collards we've had(and so has everyone that regularly gets handed a bunch as a souvenir when they come in the house!) so would love to try an even tastier variety

                                                                                        Yeah, I spose it's too hot for soup, but the bean soup mix looked especially enticing for some reason when I was in the bulk aisles of Sprouts this morning! LOL

                                                                                        1. re: ziggylu
                                                                                          hohokam Mar 30, 2011 11:02 AM

                                                                                          I started them from seed packed by Botanical Interests. I don't recall where I bought the seed, but it was probably at Baker. They're super easy to grow. Even though I got a late start on planting everything last fall, the collards have been rocking.

                                                                            2. val ann c Mar 29, 2011 11:22 PM

                                                                              In NJ, you will find collard greens at your farmers market, starting late summer. Ask the farmer when they expect to have them in. In NJ, collards will be available thru November or later. The cooler the weather, the tastier the greens.

                                                                              If you buy them at the supermarket, ask the produce manager what day they expect a fresh shipment. Freshness makes a big difference to your flavor and texture. A bundle of uncooked collards will keep a surprisingly long time in the fridge. I wrap the bunch tightly in a slightly damp towel and store in a plastic bag.

                                                                              1. MVNYC Mar 30, 2011 08:11 AM

                                                                                Check this site out for more nutritional information:

                                                                                http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=...

                                                                                1. huiray Mar 30, 2011 08:35 AM

                                                                                  Do you use Google?
                                                                                  http://www.google.com/search?q=collard+greens

                                                                                  The first two answers from that simple search:
                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collard_greens
                                                                                  http://whatscookingamerica.net/Vegeta...

                                                                                  1. prima Mar 30, 2011 09:15 AM

                                                                                    This is what I've been doing with collard and kale.
                                                                                    I cut the greens into thick strips/ribbons/chiffonade. I've also been including most of the stems lately, slicing them thinly.
                                                                                    Heat a couple tbsp of oil (I use grapeseed or evoo) over medium heat. Add some chopped garlic and ginger (around 2 cloves & 1 tbsp ginger for 3 cups of greens), and stir for a couple minutes. Add a chopped tomato, greens and stems, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a couple shakes of cayenne, and stir in 2 tbsp of smooth peanut butter. Cook a couple minutes, then serve.

                                                                                    1. momskitchen Mar 31, 2011 01:07 PM

                                                                                      Here's how I cook them.....

                                                                                      The "potlikker" was awesome!

                                                                                      Crockpot Collards
                                                                                      2 lbs. washed collard greens, stems removed, and cut in 2 inch pieces
                                                                                      1/2 c. cider vinegar
                                                                                      3 c. water
                                                                                      2 smoked ham hocks

                                                                                      Put greens in crock pot, add water and vinegar, and put hocks on top. Cook for 10 hours on low. Remove hocks and cut up meat and sprinkle on top, if the idea of eating ham hocks doesn't turn you off. Serve with Franks Hot Sauce and a side of cornbread

                                                                                      1. b
                                                                                        blondbomber Apr 5, 2011 08:20 AM

                                                                                        I recently had collards at Virginia's in Charleston, SC. They had a slightly sweet, mysterious flavor that I'd never tasted before in collard greens but really liked. We asked the waitress for the ingredients, and she said they use fatback, ham hock, vinegar, and a little molasses. So the molasses was the secret ingredient. Good!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: blondbomber
                                                                                          d
                                                                                          dingey Apr 28, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                                                          Ahh! A little brown sugar works well, too!

                                                                                        2. Vetter Apr 22, 2011 08:25 PM

                                                                                          Heidi, I have this new favorite recipe, and it happens to have collards! I use at least three bunches. http://www.food52.com/recipes/7813_ga... I've subbed basmati for the oat groats, and a mornay (cheese) sauce for the white sauce he uses -- but the yogurt in the sauce does really make it special.

                                                                                          The collards end up sweet and completely approachable, and really, the whole thing is delish.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Vetter
                                                                                            prima Apr 23, 2011 05:10 AM

                                                                                            Interesting recipe- thanks for posting the link ;-) Thinking about substituting wheat berries for the oat groats.

                                                                                          2. b
                                                                                            bankalchemist Apr 24, 2011 10:58 AM

                                                                                            Collard or Turnip Greens are all part of the same family. Using Pork White Meat or Fat Back or Salt Pork place a piece in your pot with water and bring to a boil. This is your seasoning. Lower the temp and then add the Greens to simmer several hours. Doug Ayers of Bluegrass Community Bank serves this several times a month at his customer get together and appreciation dinners. Turnip gas is very clean and silent and can be enjoyed by all without the interrupting sounds usually associated with this food and people giggling. This helps Doug in his Green Banking Clean Energy product development. bankalchemist.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: bankalchemist
                                                                                              c oliver Apr 24, 2011 12:19 PM

                                                                                              In the same family but, to me anyway, VERY different in taste. Collards are much milder and I prefer them.

                                                                                            2. eight_inch_pestle Apr 24, 2011 04:28 PM

                                                                                              Lately taken to making a very nice white bean soup with collards. Some bay leaf, fresh tarragon and chives, shredded ham hock, caramelized onion (half pureed with some of the beans, half minced), a splash of sherry to finish.

                                                                                              Love collards the traditional way, but it's also fun to find other ways to eat 'em up.

                                                                                              1. f
                                                                                                Fiona Apr 24, 2011 04:44 PM

                                                                                                I must say that I too am a big fan of Collard greens! since my family members have various issues with meat - I usually make them without the ham bone. The favored way is to clean them, chop them ( a large chiffonade), throw into a pot of water with salt, red pepper flakes and a shot or two of apple cider vinegar, a thinly sliced onion. Cook until done. No matter how much I cook there are never any leftovers.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Fiona
                                                                                                  a
                                                                                                  AgentLapis Apr 26, 2011 10:07 PM

                                                                                                  I'm vegetarian, so I never cook them with meat. I have a little patch of collards that I'll pick to fry up for breakfast, roughly sliced (1" strips) in a skillet. Only been eating them for the last couple of years (never heard of them during my first 20 years of life).

                                                                                                  Fry half a sliced onion until soft and barely translucent. Add 4-5 sliced mushrooms and some crumbled tempeh, add strips of collards when nearly done and cover for the last couple of minutes. Great with toast, hot sauce & a drizzle of soy.

                                                                                                  When I have eggs, I'll do them mexican style: briefly fry a couple of tortillas until they puff up and put them on a plate. Then do your collards with some soyrizo or onion (or both!) and toss over your tortillas. Finally fry a couple of eggs until the whites are barely set, with salt and pepper, perhaps some paprika & vinegar too, to top your collards. More hot sauce is always good.

                                                                                                2. Heidi cooks and bakes Apr 27, 2011 01:52 PM

                                                                                                  Oh, you guys are good! So many delicious recipes to try!!

                                                                                                  1. jmckee Apr 27, 2011 03:01 PM

                                                                                                    I should add to answer the second "how" half of the question: In great quantities. Because (a) you'll find they shrink down a lot and (b) too much is never enough.

                                                                                                    1. f
                                                                                                      fantasyjoker Apr 27, 2011 07:30 PM

                                                                                                      I like to stir-fry freshly cleaned collards or any other green until tender. No long cooking here. Add some crushed red pepper, chopped garlic, and sliced onions. For an Asian flair, I'll add toasted black sesame seeds, some ginger, soy, and sriracha. Easy, simple side dish.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: fantasyjoker
                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                        dingey Apr 28, 2011 10:53 AM

                                                                                                        I like 'em like that, too, but the other eater in my household seems to find collards too "bitey" this way. Ah well....I love the southern style, too! The sautee/stir fry is just so FAST!

                                                                                                        1. re: dingey
                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                          fantasyjoker May 2, 2011 10:23 AM

                                                                                                          I know. It's really fast this way, and for non-veg, it can be easily made into a main dish by adding some form of meat. I like to add either cooked bratwurst or cooked Italian sausage. They go well with collards assertive flavor. Also, if I don't add Asian seasonings to the greens, I can easily use leftovers to make stuffed shells or a filling for lasagna or other dishes.

                                                                                                        2. re: fantasyjoker
                                                                                                          huiray May 2, 2011 03:45 PM

                                                                                                          Ponzu.

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