Brazilian-Style Collard Greens

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
4 to 6

Inspired and adapted from culinary historian and author Jessica B. Harris' recipe, these garlicky collards are the perfect partner for Smoky Simmered Beans with Sofrito (and pretty much anything else). The zesty, jalapeño-spiked sauce adds a delicious dimension to this dish, and can be increased or decreased to your liking. I recommend making extra to serve on the side. But these garlicky collards are also great without it.


For the Sauce

  • 3 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped

  • ¼ white onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped

  • Kosher salt

For the Greens

  • 2 pounds collard greens, rinsed and well-dried

  • 8 - 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 small dried red chile (optional)

  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Make the sauce: Stir together lemon juice, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Cut out the thick stem from the center of each collard leaf with a knife, or hold the bottom of the stem with one hand, then loosely wrap the other hand around the leaf and rip upward to pull the stem and leaf apart. Arrange 5 to 6 leaves in a stack on a cutting board, then roll them tightly lengthwise. Slice crosswise into thin ribbons, and repeat with remaining leaves.

  3. Heat oil in a large skillet, Dutch oven, or wok over medium-high. Add garlic and chile (if using), and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, being careful not to burn the garlic, 1to 2 minutes. Add collards and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or tongs to coat well with garlicky oil. Add water and continue to cook until collards are uniformly dark green but still have a bit of crunch, 7 to 10 minutes.

  4. Remove pan from heat; pour sauce over greens and toss together to thoroughly coat. Season collards with salt and pepper to taste.

    Brazilian Collard Greens
    Anna Stockwell
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