Normally, collards need to be cooked a looooooong time before they taste good. But, by then, they take on a really unappetizing khaki color. You can’t just sauté them in some fat because they normally scorch before they soften enough. According to the nerds (in a good way) at Cooks Illustrated, the best way to cook collards (and any assertive greens) is to shallow blanch them before sautéing them.
- 1½ teaspoons of Kosher salt
- 2 pounds of assertive greens, such as kale, collards, mustard, or turnip greens; stemmed, washed in several changes of water, and coarsely chopped.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a deep pot. Add the salt and greens and stir until wilted. Cover and cook until the greens are just tender (~7 minutes).
Drain in a colander. Rinse the pot with cold water to cool and then refill with cold water. Pour the greens into the cold water to stop the cooking process.
Gather a handful of greens, lift out of water, and squeeze dry. (Try using a ricer, you can squeeze out a ton of water.)
Roughly cut up the drained greens and sauté with your favorite fat, aromatics, and swine parts. All you gotta do, is add ¼ cup of chicken broth, cover for 2 minutes and you’re done! Collards cooked this way aren’t overly bitter – perfectly tender, bright green, and delicious.
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