In the South, people tend to be loyal to one green: turnip, mustard or collard. In fact, where chef Edna Lewis was raised in Virginia, collards weren't grown at all, annd to this day she maintains a prejudice against them—except in this recipe. The important thing to watch for when buying greens is that the leaves have no yellow or discolored areas. In preparing the dish, you can control the level of spiciness by adding more or less red pepper.
Chef Holiday Recipes Made EasyPlus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips
2 quarts Smoky Pork Stock
6 pounds collard greens, stems and ribs removed, leaves cut into 1-inch-wide
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained
How to Make It
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, bring the Smoky Pork Stock to a boil. Add the collard greens and cook over moderately high heat until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain the greens, reserving the liquid.
Wipe out the casserole. Add the oil and onions and cook over moderate heat until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and 3 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and simmer over moderately low heat until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 15 minutes. Add the collard greens and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
The greens can be prepared 1 day ahead and reheated.
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