Collard Greens for Newbies
I grew up eating collards slowly stewed with some salt, sugar, and bacon. And then, I get to NYC and I’m eating a super healthy raw foods place and they have collard leaves as wraps. And I found out what a very fresh, clean collard tastes like. When I cook them at home, I don’t do the salt/sugar/bacon thing but I do doctor them up a fair bit to make them more palatable to the others in my home.
1 bunch of collard greens
1 onion, sliced or diced
1 tablespoon of ghee or olive oil
I start with lightly caramelizing onions. I’m using a massive onion because I thought it would be fun and I wanted to show you how great a mandoline is. This is a Japanese Benriner and one of those guard gloves because the food guard is worthless. So I slice the entire gigantic onion and yes, in hindsight, this is way too many onions for what I’m doing today.
Nonetheless, I’m gonna use some ghee to cook these suckers in while I tend to the greens.
I’ve found the best way to handle a huge bundle of greens like this is to first remove the leaves. You could also use scissors. Just pull the leaves off the thick stalks. Then gather them all up and chop them into ribbons. You can make them thick ribbons or very thin ribbons.
Now I’ll wash them by swishing around a handful at a time in a bowl of water, them setting them in a colander to drain. Then I’ll add them to a large pot of boiling water to blanche them, which means boiling them for 2-4 minutes. I have to do this in batches, too, but once they’re all finished, they’ll go into the pan with the onions, which are now cooked down into a light caramelization. They’re very sweet without being complete mush.
The whole de-stemming/cleaning/blanching process can take up to 30 minutes.
And I’ll let them simmer together, covered, until the greens taste like the onions. 10 minutes should be plenty of time for that. And there ya go - the collards are cooked within an inch of their life and so are the onions, but it’s a great way to start with collard greens!