For those of you who has never experienced the southern comfort of collard greens, you are definitely missing out on a staple dish! I’ve cooked this in many different ways but never holding out on two factoring ingredients that make this so good–apple cider vinegar and hot sauce. Oh, and need I mention the obligatory bacon/ and or ham-hock to boot?!
Collard greens have been eaten for at least 2000 years, with evidence showing that the ancient Greeks cultivated several forms of both collard greens and kale.
They are a staple vegetable of Southern U.S. cuisine, and are often prepared with other similar green leaf vegetables, such as kale, turnip greens, spinach, and mustard greens in “mixed greens”. Typical seasonings when cooking collards consist of smoked and salted meats (ham hocks, smoked turkey drumsticks, pork neckbones, fatback or other fatty meat), diced onions, vinegar, salt, and black, white, or crushed red pepper, and some cooks add a small amount of sugar. Traditionally, collards are eaten on New Year’s Day, along with black-eyed peas or field peas and cornbread, to ensure wealth in the coming year. Cornbread is used to soak up the “pot liquor”, a nutrient-rich collard broth. Collard greens may also be thinly sliced and fermented to make collard kraut often cooked with flat dumplings. SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collard_greens
Upon my first visit of the season, I was excited to spot bunches of fresh-harvest Braising Mix from a local farm-stand in Placerville, Ca… 24Carrot Farm.
They are open Thur and Fri 2pm-6pm and Sat and Sun 10am-5pm, 2731 Jacquier Rd Placerville CA. You can also spot them on Saturdays at the Placerville Farmers Market, opens from May through October.
Without further ado, here’s my special version of collard greens using a braising mix…Good Eats!
-3 bunches organic braising mix, Julienne.
-6 slices organic bacon, chopped.
-Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
-Franks Red Hot Sauce (or similar)
-Garlic cloves with skin, mashed.
-Hawaiian Black Sea Salt (or other sea salt/or Kosher)
-Fresh ground black pepper
-Red Chili Flakes
1. In a large pot, cook bacon slices thoroughly. Drain out excess bacon fat.
2. Add-in mashed garlic cloves.
3. Add-in braising mix.
4. Add-in apple cider vinegar to taste (approx.3-4 tablespoons)
5. Add-in hot sauce to taste.
Sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and red chili flakes to season. Serve warm.
As an option, I thought I add in a little personal touch to the greens with some hard-boiled eggs from our hens…