How To Cook Collard Greens With Tips

Cooking collard greens is a easy thing to do but you need to do it the best way if you want to enjoy them in the best way.

Collard Greens
  • 3 bunches collard greens washed and cut
  • 1 lb smoked turkey necks drums, or wings
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T onion powder
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T chicken base
  • Seasoned salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T sugar optional
  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large stock pot
  2. Add in the smoked meat and boil for 1 hour
  3. Remove meat from the pot and pick all of the meat off the bones. Reserve meat.
  4. Pack the greens into the pot of stock
  5. Add in the onions, garlic, meat, chicken base, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  6. Lower heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 30 mins.
  7. Stir in the apple cider vinegar (and sugar if using)
  8. Season to taste with Cajun or seasoned salt.
  9. Stir well, cover, and continue simmering for 1 to 1 1/2 more hrs or until greens are as tender as desired.

What to Look for When Buying Collard Greens

You can buy your greens at the grocery store or farmers market, if you’re not fortunate enough to have a garden or a friend who grows greens.  It’s best, if you can get them straight from the garden.  However you can be selective and buy from your local store or farmer.

When buying greens, always pick bunches with quality leaves.  By being very selective you will avoid unnecessary work.  Here is what to look for in a good bunch of collard greens:

  •   Leaves Should Be Deep Green In Color
  •   Leaves Should Be Unwilted And Firm
  •   Leaves Should Not Show Signs Of Yellowing Or Browning

How to Clean Collard Greens

Clean your greens thoroughly before cooking them.  A good rinsing is always a must, since this vegetable tends to collect soil on its leaves and stems.  Before rinsing separate the leaves (with stem attached) from the roots.

Cleaned the leaves by dipped them several times into lukewarm water until all soil is removed.  The greens are clean when no dirt remains in the water. You can also rinse your leaves individually under running water to clean away the dirt.

How to Cut Collard Greens

Greens are tough therefore you will have to cut stems off some of the greens. For the large and mature leaves, take each leaf and fold lengthwise at the stem. Tear the tough portion of the stem away from the leaf and discharge.  If you like you can cut the stem away with a knife.

Next stack several leaves on top of each other and roll together.  Then using a cutting board and sharp knife, slice the leaves into 1 inch thick pieces.  That completes the cutting process.

Now that you have bought, cleaned and cut your southern greens, you’re ready to follow your recipe for cooking collard greens. Let’s cook some southern greens.

Prepare Collard Greens Easily and Quickly

Collard greens can look pretty intimidating — they range from large to gigantic and look like they’d take hours to prep and even longer to cook. But this is totally not the case. If you know how to tame them, they’re easily prepped and very quickly cooked. They’re a boon to the plant-based diet, as they’re a fantastic source of calcium (better than kale) and rich in vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. Forget about the old way of cooking them in a bit pot of boiling water. That way, collards lose color, flavor, and nutrients. Prepping them with this easier, more contemporary technique preserves all that is great about collards.

Step 1. Cut away the tough stem with kitchen shears or a small sharp knife so that the leaves are cut in half lengthwise.

Step 2. Stack 6 or so similar-sized half leaves one atop the other.

Step 3. Starting from one end, roll the leaves up tightly.

Step 4. Cut the rolled up leaves crosswise. The technique of cutting veggies into ribbons is called “chiffonade,” in case you were wondering 

Step 5. The ribbons will be long, kind of like noodles, so if you’d like them to be shorter you can give them a cut in the opposite direction.

Step 6. Use these collard ribbons any way you’d like. Toss them into stir fries or soups; or add them to roasted veggies about 10 minutes before the roasting process is done. My favorite way, and the simplest, is to sauté a little garlic in a stir-fry pan for a minute or so, then add the collard ribbons, turn up the heat, and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until bright green. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and serve. Yum!

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