Like classic sauteed green beans are so simple and tasty, they hardly need explaining, or a recipe. But I include this because, well, some people just like recipes. This is for you, buckaroos!
To learn more about prepping collard greens, view this Le Chou Fou WTF, CSA? post.
This version is, effectively, the same as the green beans version linked above. It is no less inspired by the southern U.S. than the other; as noted in the previous recipe, a sauté of the freshest greens you can find, beans or leaves, in a little bit of hog fat, pretty much screams classic southern cooking. But I also suggest some variations. In fact, classic sauteed greens also pair up beautifully with plant-based “bacons”, a variety of which are featured in these vegan bacon recipes from Clean Eating. Just note the slightly different technique.
And now, a step by step walk through, or, if you prefer, jump to the recipe.
- Pull the leaves of the collards away from the stems, or at least trim the stems way down.
- Roll up the collard leaves and slice thinly. If desired, cut the rolled slices in smaller pieces.
- If using bacon, place 1 slice for every two handfuls of beans in a cold sauté pan over medium high heat; this ensures that the bacon browns evenly, and doesn’t start sizzling and burning immediately. If not using bacon, heat the pan, then add about 1 tablespoon of oil—olive, canola, or coconut—for every 4-8 ounces of greens. I tend to prefer less oil, but some folks like their greens pretty oiled up. Your preference.
- If using bacon, once the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pan. Either way, add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped onions, shallots, or scallions to the hot fat and stir for about a minute. Then add the sliced and/or chopped greens, tossing to coat with oil.
- After 4-5 minutes of stirring and cooking the greens and onions, add 1 tablespoon of water or broth at a time; once again, you don’t need much, but if you want them a little softer and/or soupier, add more liquid. Cover the pan tightly and let steam approx 2-3 minutes. When you remove the lid, the greens should be brilliant green; taste to make sure the texture is as you like.
- Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar if you like. Stir for about 1 minute; depending on the quality of the vinegar, it may get a little syrupy.
- Top with the cut-up bacon, or your choice of vegan bacon.All purpose and wonderful, these greens can really be served on the side of just about any dish, in any season.
Classic Sauteed Collard