Collard greens, sturdy and leafy cousins to broccoli and cabbage, are showing up everywhere this time of year — in CSA boxes, at farmers’ markets, and in food co-ops. Collards are delicious stir-fried with a little bacon fat, but for those who are trying to keep it light, here’s a variation — also delicious — that calls for smoked salt to achieve a smoky flavor without the additional fat.
Serves 4 to 6
2 tbsp Canola oil
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed
4 c water
1 tbsp smoked salt
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste OR hot pepper vinegar on the side (see recipe below)
- Slice the collard greens into a chiffonade by stacking them, rolling them into a tight cylinder, then slicing them into thin strips.
- Over medium heat, heat the Canola oil in a large pot.
- Add the chopped onion. Saute until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
- Add the collards, water, salt, and vinegar. Season with black pepper. Add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes (if using).
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once boiling, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 20 minutes until the greens are tender.
- Serve with hot pepper vinegar, if using, on the side.
Hot Pepper Vinegar
Makes 4 c
6 to 8 hot chiles (jalapeño, cayenne, or banana)
4 c apple cider vinegar
- Wearing rubber gloves, wash chiles under cold, running water.
- Make 2 or 3 slits in each chile with a paring knife.
- Pack the peppers tightly into a sterilized jar (or jars, depending on whether you are using pints or quarts — either will work).
- In a sauce pan over high heat, bring the vinegar to simmering.
- Pour the hot vinegar into the jar(s) containing the peppers.
- Tighten the lid and refrigerate for three weeks.
The hot pepper vinegar will keep for a year in the fridge.
Adapted from Bon Appetit, Y’all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking by Virginia Willis