We’re getting a lot of collard greens in our CSA box each week. Here in North Carolina, collard greens are a big deal. In the Southern tradition, collards are simmered in water with a ham hock (or other salted meat) for a long, long time. At the risk of offending everyone south of the Mason Dixon line, I don’t care for these collard greens. They end up sort of grayish green and limp. I prefer my greens cooked lightly so that they remain a vibrant green and still have a little bite left to them.
- 1 bunch collard greens (about 5 big leaves), stems removed and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on taste), finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Place the collard pieces into the boiling water for about four minutes. Remove and drain. Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and lightly saute for about a minute. Toss the drained collards in the sautéed garlic mixture. Remove from heat. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of half the lemon onto the collards. Toss some more. Taste the collards and decide whether they need salt, pepper, and more lemon juice. Adjust seasonings accordingly.
In the interests of full disclosure, Mark didn’t like these greens. But, I wasn’t really surprised since he doesn’t typically care for any type of green cooked in any way. I, however, thought the greens were great. If you make them, I hope you do too.