Collard Greens from Garden to Plate
This summer our largest and fastest growing plant was indeed the Collard Greens. After harvesting the greens yesterday, I washed and prepped the greens for a simple side dish with a
dinner of Cajun chicken and
sweet and red potato mash.
Wash thoroughly and cut the greens into large square pieces and set aside.
Dice 3-4 slices or a quarter pound of pancetta (an Italian type of dry cured meat). This dish would work well with other salty fatty proteins like bacon or ham. Saute the pancetta until most of the fat is released into the pan about 5 minutes.
Add one cup of diced onions and season with black pepper. Saute the onions until translucent. Add a third cup of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of sugar to the onions and pancetta. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
Then add all the collard greens and a pinch of salt. Carefully turn the collard greens around the pan until wilted down about 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Collard Greens with Pancetta
16-18 oz. Fresh Collard Greens
3-4 slices or 1/4 lb. diced pancetta
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 tsp grated or minced garlic
1/3 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Collard Greens from the garden to the plate. A Collard Green dish can be intimidating to attempt to cook. Most people think of the southern style collards boiled with ham hocks and pork belly cooking for 2 plus hours, a seemingly complicated recipe.
The greens form my garden were tender and less bitter than the usual collard which allowed me to skip the step of boiling the greens to remove the bitterness. Even if the collards were store bought, to keep the recipe simple, simply blanch the cut greens in salted water, drain well and then add to the pancetta and onion mixture.
Don't be afraid to take what you consider to be a complex dish and make it simple and quick to fit your lifestyle. Certainly, on occasion, slow cooking and following traditional recipes is doable on a long weekend or for a holiday but for everyday quick dinners, keep it simple. Change a traditional recipe or just make up your own to fit you!