Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Collard Greens...here's to friends with gardens!
I tried a garden one year, and while I did get some tomatoes, zucchini, and green beans, it felt like so much work that I have since given up on the idea. My parents always had gardens when I was growing up, so I know the basics, but, sheesh, I felt overwhelmed. Every year, I think "Maybe some containers with herbs in them...I can handle that much!"...well that never happens.
But friends with gardens are the best. My friends Greg and Sarah have a ginormous garden, and they gave me two HUGE heads of collards. Greg also gave me a great basic recipe (a.k.a. teach the Yankee girl how to cook Southern food) while he was filling my whole trunk full of the greens. When we got home, my husband somehow got them all to fit into our garage frig.
So that afternoon, I started my biggest pot simmering and dove right in. And they turned out great - just like the restaurant greens I order out! I feel my Northern roots slowly evolving into a Southern taste palate! My husband and I enjoyed them, and my 3 year old took his "no thank you" bite, and there were still a ton leftover.
While doing my research for a recipe, I saw many recommendations that cooked collards freeze well. So I put a small amount in the freezer to test after dinner, and the next day, the thawed greens had the same texture and flavor as the refrigerated ones. My next step will be to cook all the remaining greens (a head and a half!) with this same recipe, split them up into side-dish portions and freeze. A frozen portion would also work well tossed into a soup.
recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon (or use 2 tablespoons bacon grease)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound fresh collard greens, stems removed, leaves cut into 2-inch pieces
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan. Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant. Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.
Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking