Google “collard green recipes” and you’re instantly hit with the Southern take on collard greens: bacon or ham hocks slowly cooked with collards for a smoky, salty flavor. And that’s fine. I’ve never had that traditional spin on collards, and maybe I’ll have it one day. But for my everyday, I want a lighter, faster, and different take on collard greens.
I prefer a quick sauté with some aromatics with a dash of heat thrown in. This gets the side dish done easily, with no compromises on flavor. Quickly sautéing the hefty collard leaf leaves it with a little bit of crunch, giving the dish more weight and satisfaction than a pile of soft sautéed spinach.
The prep work is longer than the cooking (but not by much) and is perfect for making during the week when you want something good quickly. The heat (almost a reflex for me) pairs well with the sharp flavor of the leaves and gives it more depth. I usually serve this as a side with some roasted chicken, and if you’re not a meat-eater I would recommend it tossed with some grains and any bean, maybe crispy tempeh.
Want more collard green dishes from this series? You can find them here:
Nutrition DL: Collard Greens
This recipe is part of a series called Nutrition DL. Nutrition DL gives you the download on seasonal fruits, vegetables, or pantry staples. Once you learn about the basics of the featured ingredient, I share a four recipes over four weeks to inspire and feed you with this great seasonal food. Check out other foods I’ve covered here.