I'm always surprised by how many collard greens are required to make a satisfying dish. I never feel guilty, however, if I wind up using a ton of these dark, leafy greens with their negligible caloric impact and high nutritional values.
I've heard that they're fairly easy to grow in the right climate (but isn't that so for everything?) and I'm even tempted to try a packet of seedlings next to the tomato plants I plan to attempt. I could easily munch my way through several helpings of collard greens without even a pause.
Still, I'm not from the South - neither the Deep South of the United States nor South America. I don't have very many recipes in my repertoire for collard greens. While doing some research into recipes for dinner, I came across a story on epicurious about Brazilians' love for collard greens.
This recipe was presented as a typical Brazilian dish, noting that the greens should be chiffonaded (sliced into very thin ribbons) as finely as possible. Unlike many boiled and braised recipes, the ultra-fine ribbons cook extremely quickly, making this easy-to-prepare dish a plus in my book.
We heartily enjoyed this method of making collard greens. I'm thinking about trying it with some swiss chard in the summer, when bags stuffed full of chard go for a dollar at the market.
Brazilian-style Collard Greens [printable recipe]
Adapted from Epicurious.com
- 8 ounces collard greens, destemmed
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 splash of lemon juice
- 1/2 - 3/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes, to taste
- olive oil
Chiffonade collard leaves. (Roll up tightly into a cigar shape and slice as finely as possible.) Crush garlic to a paste and sprinkle over with salt.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic and chili flakes, stirring, 30 seconds. Add collards and liquid smoke (if using), cook, stirring periodically, until just tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Finish with a splash of lemon juice.