Monday, April 4, 2016

Cabbage Collards is my C

You may or may not know yet that I'm from the Southern United States, we have our own brand of foods in this area and we all have recipes that have been handed down for generations. Some members of my family are often reluctant to move away from the tried and true flavors that they associate with Sunday dinner.
 is for Cabbage Collards

If it was Sunday my Grandmother cooked collards, and it was an experience. First you needed a container of these leafy greens and a "streak of lean", that's fatback for those not raised in the South. Our greens always came from her garden, so no extra strange sprays or chemicals, but those leaves can be crinkly and hold more sand or dirt than you realize. So the multiple washings began. Then there were what felt like hours and hours of boiling and then chopping, to end up with something that was truly awesome but not quite so healthy. Between having the bejesus cooked out of them the fat and the salty meat didn't really lend it's self to beneficial eating.
These are an example of Cabbage Collards that we over wintered in our Garden.

My household is now home to a vegan and we all try to eat a bit healthier, but we really don't want to totally leave our roots behind. We still grow our own Collards, and we use them in a couple of different ways, much healthier ways. The younger leaves make great wraps and are great in salads. But the most asked for recipe is sauteed. Instead of hours over a hot pot stinking your kitchen up, this recipe can be made in less than 15 minutes!

When picking your collards, know that they are generally a cooler weather plant, and it's best to get them locally. Pick up more than you need, these large leaves cook down quite a bit.
  • For three to four servings I use about 2 bunches, generally that translates to two pounds.
  • Wash your greens very well by placing them in your sink or in a basin. swish them around or agitate the water, just spraying won't get the grit off.
  • The stems are a bit tougher than the leaves so go ahead and strip them down. The leaves can be cut up into smaller pieces, or into strips. I prefer the strips, I roll the leaves and then cut thinly crosswise.
  • I normally add garlic, onions sliced thinly, and red pepper flakes but I have also added peppers and pancetta, for those times I've made it for others.
Ingredients:
2 Large bunches of Collard Greens
1/2  Teaspoon of Olive Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic minced
1 Small Onions sliced thin- Optional
1 Green or Red Pepper sliced thin- Optional
Pancetta- Optional
1/4 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes
Salt
 
Directions:
In large saute pan heat 1/2 teaspoon of oil, add in garlic and onions (and pancetta if you are using it). Stir often and cook until everything has browned. Add in greens (and peppers). Continue stirring over medium heat until the greens have wilted. Greens will become bright green and become tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt. Try for personal preference.

Pretty easy and healthy too. Give it a try and see what you think. Or even plan for a few plants in your garden this fall, nothings easier than picking your dinner right out of your own garden! Do you have a great idea for healthy greens you'd like to share, leave it in the comments below! I'll have to get the recipe together for Collard Kraut, any one interested?

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out all of the other great blogs that are participating in the A to Z Challenge. We're blogging the Alphabet every day in April, with a break on Sundays. I'll be talking about great ideas for your garden, edible foraging, healthy herbs and a few recipes.

I'll see you in the Garden!