I AM a southern girl. But I did not grow up LIKING greens. In fact, as a kid, having greens was the quickest way to ruin a perfectly good meal.
Fast forward to today and I love them. CRAVE them. Better yet, my 10 year old loves them. ♥
I think perhaps one of the reasons I did not like greens as a kid, as well as a few other green veggies, (asparagus) was because of the way my Mom prepared them. Please do not get me wrong - my mom was a phenominal cook. It is because of her that I love food as much as I do.
Part of it could be attributed to her technique. Southern cooks use quite a bit of pork products to season things, but in addition, they cook them FOR EVER! Another part could have just been the time. I was in my late 20's before I had my first fresh asparagus. In a word, canned asparagus SUCKS! For having the ingredients readily available to us that we do now, more people should be taking advantage that don't. Just sayin'.
True, it is hard to shake off 'old' ways. My 20-year-younger-sister-in-law, a great southern cook in her own right, still cooks her greens for a long time. In fact, it's an OCCASION.
But if you're going to do it, and do it on a regular basis, it needs to be easy, and quick, and GOOD! And it should be on a regular basis. Greens are good for you. I cannot think of but one health condition where consuming greens is not necessarily very beneficial - and that's a gene mutation.
So, without further ado, I give you my Glorious Collard Green recipe.
1 batch of ORGANIC Collard Greens
**2 - 4 slices of bacon, organic, grass-fed, free-range, NITRATE FREE
3 TBS. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
1 medium onion, julienned, but not fine
Something spicy - crushed red chilis, Asian chili-garlic sauce, hot pepper sauce, etc.
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a heavy bottom pot, cook your bacon until it is brown. Remove it from the pan. Cut it up into bacon bits.
Add in your onions, and saute them in the bacon fat until translucent.
Deglaze the pan with about 3 TBS. of Apple Cider Vinegar.
Add in about 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
While you have been doing the ABOVE, prep your Collards: layer 4 or 5 leaves on your cutting board, roll up cigar-style in a tight roll, and then slice across the roll in very thin strips from the top down to the stalk. Then do a few cross chops. Place greens in a salad spinner. Repeat the process until all of your greens are cut.
Rinse and spin. Rinse and spin!
Once the water has come to a boil, add in your chopped greens. Bring the water back up to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. FIVE MINUTES!
Turn off the heat, adjust the seasonings with your spicy ingredient, salt and pepper, and perhaps more vinegar if necessary. It depends on how much ZING you like. Add in your reserved cooked chopped bacon.
Enjoy - and be sure to eat/drink some of the broth. Healthy nutrients are in that water.
**You do not need to have bacon in your greens in order for them to be delicious. Go without for a beautiful vegetarian dish. IF you do use bacon, use GOOD bacon.
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