I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I’ve never cooked collard greens before. And the only ones I’ve ever eaten were so smoky and pork-laden, if I’d closed my eyes, I wouldn’t have even known I was eating a green vegetable. But in preparing for my very Southern New Year’s Eve, I’m diving into all kinds of unchartered culinary territory.
I knew I wanted to try my hand at collards in a more Yankee way, i.e. without the use of pig products, and with a method that would make my leafy greens look like they came from the field and not the barnyard. I came across this recipe for quick collards and the stir-fry technique seemed right up my alley. Plus, it just seemed fitting for a New York Jew cooking a Southern New Year’s meal to take equal parts inspiration from below the Mason-Dixon and below Canal (Chinatown).
Sure, the collard greens were a little more toothsome than the pale brown leaves that get braised with ham hock for hours. But that’s kind of what I expect from my veggies. The ginger and jalapeno add nice background flavor, but aren’t Asian-y enough on their own to make the dish feel out of place alongside pork stew and sweet potatoes.
Do you have any favorite ways to make collard greens? Let me know in the comments. Even if it included 3 types of pork.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1 large bunch collard greens, thick stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- In a large non-stick skillet or wok heat the oil. Fry the garlic, ginger, shallots and jalapeno over high heat until the shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Add the collard greens and cook, tossing frequently, until wilted. Add the vinegar, honey, and salt to the pan. Cover and cook until the greens are soft, about 3 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional minute, until some of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the greens to a platter. Serve warm.
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