How To Cook Collard Greens
Southern Collard Greens Recipe (Just Like Your Grandma'S Recipe!)
Jump to Recipe Jump the Video Print Recipe Southern Collard Greens, braised in a richly spiced pot liquor and served with an incredible tender silky texture To make it a home cooked meal, pair this recipe with some cornbread muffins or hot sauce. The real deal! This is a true Southerner's dream! Check out this Creamed Spinach with Mustard Greens recipe if you like these! You can read my story on my website here. My Collard Greens recipe was a tribute not only for my childhood, it is also for almost all other southerners. I've watched the hands that groomed and raised me make collard greens for decades, and the entire process was always so magical. It's why I've included both my Big Mama's (grandmother's) hands and my mamas' in this post that will show you how they make them. The heritage and love associated with making greens for your family is something that can never be replaced.
Greens are a favorite of ours. Every southerner has their favorite green, with so many unique flavors that I can't help but agree. This is true Southern Cooking at its finest.
In my opinion, traditional southern collard greens are the most popular rendition of this dish. It fills your home in the sweet aromas and flavors of traditional southern cuisine when collards greens are cooked over a stove. Your soul will be soothed by every bite.
Collard Greens would be my favorite staple vegetable. They are part of the Brassica Oleracea plant family, like many green vegetables such as cabbage (link for cabbage rolls), spinach, and Kale.
You can find them all year with the exception of winter and early spring. Although my mother was a great cook, it is special to grab them in their season.
Should I remove The Stems?
This decision is up to you. We, in our family, believe that the stems should be removed and we need to continue cooking with greens. However, there are many that appreciate stems' nutritional benefits.
It is easy to take the stems out by simply holding the leaf in one hand, and then slide your other hand down the stem. This will allow you to tear off the leaf while continuing to cut.
Collard Greens Cooking Tips There are many methods to prepare collard greens. However, there is a Southern way to do it. Although you can cook an Easy Collard Greens Cooking Method by adding the greens in a skillet with olive oil, and then cooking them until tender. Soul Food Collard Greens take more time to roast.
A couple hours of cooking makes the collard greens tender and almost silky, but they still have substance. They can also be braised in the same manner as short-ribs: slowly and low, over medium heat.
Braising leaves greens tender and easy to pull apart, while creating the delicious flavored pot likker for soul food greens.
How To Cook Brazilian Collard Greens
This cooking method was introduced to me by Matt years ago. You make the best collards. Here's how to do it:
Take the long central ribs of collard greens and cut them into thick slices. Then stack the leaves one on the other. Start at the end and roll them into a cigar shape. Then, slice along the length of each roll to create thin collard strips. Use a sharp chef's knife for this, and make your slices as thin as possible ideally about 1/8-inch wide. For the collards, you can give them some more chops.
A large skillet that has a thick bottom (cast iron works well) should be heated on medium heat. You can drizzle olive oil on top. The oil will help you absorb the vitamins and nutrients found in the greens. Then add the greens and some salt. Give the greens a good stir so they're all lightly shimmering from the oil and turning darker green.
The greens should cook in 30-second increments on the hot pan. Stir in between. You will notice a crispier, browner appearance to some collards when you heat the oil in the saucepan.
The garlic and red pepper flakes can be added once there is a slight browning. It's better to add the garlic this way than at any other time. Otherwise, it might burn before your collards are finished.
Switch the collards from their cooking to a plate. You're finished!
Change It Up
You can substitute collard greens with kale if you are unable to find them or don't have enough kale.
They are great when paired with Asian-inspired flavors. You might have tried my Kale Fried Rice recipe. This is because collards and kale are very similar greens.
For an Asian spin, you can simply reduce the salt (we're adding salty sauce later) and substitute 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger for the garlic. When the collards have finished cooking add one teaspoon teriyaki sauce or any other soy sauce or 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oils to the saucepan. You can skip the lemon. So good.
Do you want to try healthier, simpler side dishes? Here's a selection of my top picks:
Celery Salad w/ Dates, Almonds And Parmesan Parmesan Gabriel's Cucumber Salad Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli and Balsamic Drizzle
Comment below to let me know your experience with these collards! It's easy to become addicted to cooked greens.
Health Benefits Of Collard Greens
Are collard greens healthy? It's possible! Collard greens are full of nutrients. They are rich in chlorophyll (vitamins and minerals) and have dark green stems. Collard greens are rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C, & K. If that wasn't enough to encourage you to include these nutritious greens in your diet, they also contain fiber to aid digestion and lower cholesterol. Collard greens contain antioxidants as well as low levels of glucose. Collard greens have become the new honey, like kale. This is a trend that has spread far beyond the South. See the last section for healthier and more soulful ways to incorporate collard greens into your day.
A Brief History of Collard Greens Collard greens are a staple vegetable here in the south. South Carolina even declared collards greens to be their state vegetable. It's no secret that Southerners love their collard greens, but where did collard greens come from? Collard greens, one of our oldest cabbage relatives, date back as far as prehistoric times. Collard greens are believed to have originated in Greece. The transatlantic slave trade eventually allowed them to reach the American South. Although collard greens are prepared in many ways, Southern-style collard greens were created by the enslaved Africans. Collard greens are one of few vegetables that enslaved Africans could grow in their gardens to provide food for their families.
Slave Africans made savory pots from greens, by boiling them until they were tender. They would use the leftover scraps from the plantation kitchen to add to the greens, which usually consisted of meat scarps like pig feet and turnip tops.
Pot likkur refers to the rich broth-like gravy, which accumulates after greens are cooked. African slaves would take this delicious broth as their nourishment. This is why collard leaves are such an easy-to-make dish. This "slave food" found its way to Southern cuisine as slaves began making it for their families.
One of Southern collards greens best qualities is the pot likkur. As mentioned above, pot likkur is the rich, savory broth-like gravy created when you slow cook a pot of collard greens. Pot likkur's base is typically water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth. I prefer chicken broth. The pot liquor is rich in flavor and makes the soup so delicious! Pot liquor, the collard green spice, is slow simmered in water with onion, garlic red pepper flakes, meat and then strained. It contains all the nutrients of collard greens. This is a delicious drink that can also be enjoyed by itself.
Can I use pot likkur in other recipes? It is possible to use pot likkur for other purposes, such as to add flavor to your favorite dishes. You can use it in any other way than regular broth. It's great for mashed potatoes and brown gravy, but it also works well in rice cookers. It's a real treasure.
You're now more familiar with this nutrient-rich, southern vegetable! Let's make a pot of the best collard greens ever. The collard greens recipe for this is simple and could be your new favorite greens!
Step 1 – Remove stems
You now have plenty of fresh collard leaves. We need to cut the stem. Most people will prefer to get rid of the stems as they can become bitter. However, they are also loaded with nutrients. It is best to prepare the stems separately to make sure they don't become tough. The following are common ways to remove the stem leaf.
Method 1. Method 1. Fold the leaf lengthwise. *I prefer to tear them off the stem.
Method 2. Take one end of the stem by the base and hold it in your right hand. Slide the opposite hand upwards, taking the leaf out. (This seems to work best for small tender leaves.)
Get ready to prepare the Collard Greens
You will need to make the collard greens bath.
The steams will be removed from the collard greens. Fold them in half along the length and pull the stem away. You can either discard the stem, or follow this note to learn how to cook them.
Allow the collard greens to soak for about 15-20 minutes. Give them a good scrub halfway through. Then drain off the excess water. Add plain water to the container and let the greens soak another time if necessary. Do this until there is no more dirt and grit in the water. Let the water drain after you have finished the soak. Next, rinse and scrub each leaf front and back with cool water to ensure they are squeaky clean.
Take the leaves and cut them into pieces.
Is a bunch worth the same as a whole batch? This recipe makes 2 bunches, which weigh in at about 2 lbs each after removing stems. The bunches contained about 20 leaves. When you purchase whole collard-green leaves at the grocery shop, they will usually come in a bunch.
To cook the collard green stems: Dice them up and add them to a pot of water or broth. Allow to simmer until tender. Eat as is or stir it into the collard greens or other dishes.