November 5, 2009

Smoky Collard Greens (no meat version)

No rain for trick-or-treating, sun peeking out from behind the clouds all week long and bearable temperatures even though we saw a few snowflakes. I'm a happy girl.

So between tests of every pumpkin cake/bread recipe I can find, to use up some of my squash-load from the garden, I made some greens today and thought I'd share my recipe. Now, I have no moral problem with pork and I love when someone else makes a big pot of collard greens with ham hocks. My mouth waters just thinking about driving through South Carolina and finding a really good BBQ joint. But, since I'm the only green lover in my house I've learned to make do with small batches, that means a slice of bacon or this version which has no meat at all. Smoked paprika (pimenton) is one of my most beloved of spices and can give a slice of bacon some competition.

Smoky Collard Greens
Makes ~1 1/2 cups of cooked collards

1 bunch collard greens (~8 leaves)
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Frank's RedHot, optional*

*Note that my bottle is nearly empty, I go through the stuff like my son goes through ketchup. It's killer on buttered (or EBed - Earth Balanced) popcorn.

-Sweat the diced onions in a tablespoon or so of olive oil, the pimenton, a few grinds of pepper and a pinch of salt until translucent.
-Remove the collard stems, roll and chop the leaves and then wash them well in a lot of water. Do several changes of water for dirty greens.
-When the onions are soft, add the greens, vinegar and a splash or two of water. Cover and let the greens wilt over medium heat. In a minute or two check the greens and give them a stir. Add more water if needed to keep the greens moist, you want some liquid in the pot but not a soupy mess since we aren't cooking these very long. Cover and reduce the heat to low.
-Cook for 20 minutes or until the greens are tender enough for you.
-Taste for seasoning and serve with Frank's RedHot on the side.

Other collard recipes:
Gina Neely's Best Collard Greens
Crock Pot Collards from Mother's Kitchen
Braised Collard Greens from The Kitchn
Veganized Southern-style Collard Greens, with shiitakes

My son Alex was happy to find the milkweed pods are finally ripe.