I suppose most of us have heard that phrase at one time or another – from a well meaning family member, friend or health professional. There is good science involved and happily for many of us, eating greens is a pleasure.
My family is semi-Southern. The Southern part was devoted to collard greens. They were always cooked slowly for a long time and pork was involved. The not Southern faction was favorable to kale, long before it ascended to its current superfood status. I embraced both because I loved all vegetables but my brother is forever scarred. The mention of kale makes him visibly shudder.
Given the above, it is easy to understand that I was thrilled when I ran across an article in the recent Bon Appetit magazine for Slow Cooked Collard Greens in Olive Oil. My childhood love of collards gets to meet my adult passion for olive oil. Now that is something for which to be thankful.
Collard greens are perfectly in season now and a trip to the farmer’s market rewarded me with this beautiful display. Two bountiful bunches later, I was on my way home to recipe test.
It is Southern folklore that greens taste better if they are torn, not cut with a knife. I have cooked a lot of greens and I have both cut them and torn them. I admit to a deeper satisfaction from tearing but I’m not going to go out on limb about the flavor. I do love a little folklore, however.
Here are the greens, washed and torn.
The first line of the recipe reads, “Heat ½ cup of olive oil in a large sauce pan”. I know this is going to be good. Of course, I am using McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It would be a shame to expose those beautiful greens to anything less than an oil that meets this standard. The recipe also calls for garlic but I added a little shallot as well. Here are the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes being sauteed together.
Here are the greens, just before covering for the long simmer.
One and a half hours later this is how they look, drizzled with more McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
These were remarkable with leftover turkey. They were remarkable with poached eggs the next morning. (Next time, I will try them with olive oil fried eggs.) I am in the process of making ravioli with the greens, some leftover ham and ricotta. More on that later …
Here is the recipe as printed in the Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appetit – 2017.
Slow-Cooked Collard Greens in Olive Oil
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 bunches collard greens, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 2” pieces
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon (or more) apple cider vinegar
- Generous pinch of sugar
Heat ½ cup oil in a large saucepan over medium.
Cook garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring often, until garlic is golden, about 4 minutes.
Add collard greens to saucepan a handful at a time, stirring until each addition is wilted before adding the next.
Season with salt and add 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat so mixture is at a very gentle simmer.
Cover and cook, occasionally removing lid to stir, until greens are tender and very dark green, 1-1-½ hours.
Let cool slightly, then stir vinegar and sugar into the greens.
Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with more oil and a splash more of vinegar if desired.