Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Collard Greens

Today I decided to cook up the collard greens I picked up from the farmer's market. They were seriously some of the best quality collards I have ever run across. Lost Creek really puts some of the best produce in the area. The collards had huge dark green unblemished leaves with some pretty hefty stems. A while back I pickled some  broccoli stalks according to one of Mollie Katzen's recipes and they turned out solid. The stems of the collards were so thick, I figured I might as well try pickling them. Just in case they wouldn't work, I just finished off a jar of Nathan's pickles and reused the brine and jar.

George's collards

Collard greens have an intense spicy bitterness that matches well with smokey flavors. I started with a little olive oil and 1/2lb of diced bacon. After the bacon rendered, I added onions, some spicy smoked paprika, and crushed pepper. After the onions had cooked down and started to turn translucent, I added chopped garlic and let it cook a while longer.

I then washed and took off the stems from the collard greens, and sliced the leaves into strips. I added the greens, some red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and some water. I cranked up the heat and covered the pot. Once I caught some steam escaping, I turned it down to a simmer (still covered) and let it cook for 20 minutes. I then took off the cover and added a bag of frozen spinach and mixed everything around. I recovered, kicked the heat back up and let simmer for about 10 minutes. I finished by removing the top, turning up the heat to moderate, and letting most of the moisture in the pot evaporate. 

Pickled stems:

Collard green stems start off thick at the base and slowly narrow. I chopped the stalks into three equal sized chunks. The tops were pretty tiny, so I stuck them straight into the brine. The middle stalks were "medium sized" and I blanched them for 1 minutes in boiling salt water, shocked them in an ice bath, and added them into the brine. Finally, the lower stalks were pretty thick. I peeled them with a veggie peeler to take off the tough outer layer, then blanched them for 2 minutes, shocked them in the ice bath, and added them to the brine. They ended up being a little too long and didn't sit all the way in the brine, so I cut them in half (after the photo was taken). It will be interesting to see how they turn out. They have a great vibrant green color. 

1 comment:

  1. It is a nice food collard green,a green veg,good tasty and healthy for body.