Not-So-Southern Collard Greens

These greens are decidedly un-Southern, mainly because they are not seasoned with animal flesh. It is very simple to make a tasty, healthy, cruelty-free version of this Southern classic using just a tiny bit of olive oil for richness, or omit the oil for an even healthier dish. I prefer collard greens, but the recipe can be used with any greens (or a mixture of greens).

Ingredients:

  • 3 bunches of collard greens, center stems removed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • a few drops red chili oil or hot sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Put everything except the greens in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Make sure the brown sugar is dissolved.
  2. Rough chop the greens and add them to the pot a couple of handfuls at a time, until all of them have wilted and are immersed in the liquid.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer greens to desired texture and consistency, stirring every ten minutes or so. Most of the moisture will be absorbed into the greens and the bitterness will dissipate. I usually leave mine on the stove for at least an hour. Don’t discard the liquid, called “pot liquor” or “pot likker” in the South. It is chock full of nutrients – use it for sopping!
  4. Serve greens on their own (yes, they are that tasty) or with cider or pepper vinegar.
  5. Enjoy!