Collard greens are not a food commonly associated with western Massachusetts. I’m not sure I’d ever had them before starting our CSA membership after moving here. Turns out, I’m a big collard greens fan (at least, the way I make them). Lately, several of my friends have posted on Facebook about collards and I got the impression that no one quite knew what to do with them. When collards are available at the farm, I almost always get a bunch to turn into Quick Cooking Collard Greens.
My collard greens are vegetarian and don’t take long to make, which makes me prefer this cooking method above many others. The greens still taste like vegetables and not like mush, which is also a plus. These collard greens make a great side to serve with a grain and/or a protein, but I’ve also used them as taco filling, mixed in with pasta and added to an omelet.
Quick Cooking Collard Greens
- 1 bunch collard greens about 10 leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes optional
- Remove the stem from each of the collard green leaves by using a sharp knife to slice along each side of the stalk. Discard the stems, or reserve them for another use (stir fry, pickles, etc). You will not use the stems in this recipe.
- Stack the leaf halves in a pile and slice the leaves into thin ribbons, about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the collard greens and toss them in the garlic and oil. Cook until all the leaves are wilted to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir occasionally. Turn the heat down as necessary; cooking on too high heat will result in crispy greens. Stick to medium to medium-low heat.
- If using, add the red pepper flakes close to the end of cooking. Stir to combine.
- Remove from heat and serve when the greens are tender, but still bright green, about 10 minutes.
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