We just pulled the last of the collard greens from our front yard vegetable garden. The steamy Florida weather doesn’t seem to bother them but the bugs arrive in force as soon as it gets hot, so we enjoy them for six months then harvest what we can for the freezer.
We have two favorite ways to enjoy them: with caramelized sweet onion or drizzled with a balsamic, tahini sauce – a recipe shared by friends, Glenn and Gisela Morgan, fitness trainers who have all kinds of creative ways to enjoy their veggies.
The traditional southern way to cook collard greens is seasoned with a fatty meat and boiled to death. I make a meatless version but can’t get the rest of the family to eat them unless they are accompanied by a huge hunk of savory cornbread slathered with fresh butter – but there goes the diet. A healthier alternative, stir-fried in a pan, is tasty and quick and no one demands the cornbread with these:
Collards can be cut or torn. First, remove the large center rib by folding the leaf over and pulling down on the stem:
You can change it up by using a julienne cut, which is what we do when we serve them with caramelized onion. First, strip the veins from the leaves then roll them up and cut into thin “ribbons”. For this version, slice a sweet onion very thin then cook in a sauté pan with a tablespoon of butter or olive oil until the onion is soft and brown. Transfer the onion to a bowl and set aside. Using the same pan, add a tablespoon of oil and heat. Add the julienned collard greens and stir fry for about thirty seconds on high heat. Add a tablespoon of water (the steam quickly wilts them) then continue stir frying for another minute or two. Toss with the caramelized onion and serve immediately.
To enjoy them with the balsamic tahini sauce, make the sauce according to the recipe directions below. Stir-fry the collards using the same method above and drizzle the sauce to taste before serving. I don’t julienne the collards when I use the sauce because the finer cut seems to hold too much sauce.
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Table spoon tahini
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Serve immediately or store in refrigerator up to a week.