Sunday, June 14, 2015

Kickin' collard greens (to the curb)

I confess: I panic when I encounter large, leathery leaves that look like they could have been plucked from prehistoric bats.
This is a collard leaf on a sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper.
And yet I know people who truly love kale and collard greens and other such aberrations. Some of these people are even related to me. Besides, collard greens are reputed to be exceptionally nutritious. And anyway, my CSA portion included a hefty handful of them, so--naturally--I asked Google what to do.

I liked the name of this recipe--Kickin' Collard Greens--and it didn't look too challenging, as long as I wasn't planning to go anywhere for a couple of hours.  I modified it to fit what I had in my kitchen, so that I actually used about 2 tsp olive oil; 2 oz pancetta; half of a very large onion; 3 small cloves garlic; 1/2 tsp salt (possibly more than was needed, as it turned out); 1/2 tsp pepper; 2 cups vegetable broth; 1 pinch red pepper flakes; and maybe 11 oz collard greens, much of the stem removed, cut into small pieces.

This is 11 oz of collard greens cut into smallish pieces.
First I washed, trimmed, and cut the greens. I used scissors, since the greens were a bit tough for a knife. Then I followed the recipe's directions for what to add when.

I browned the pancetta...
and added onions and garlic.
I wilted the collard greens...
and cooked the livin' daylights out of them.
I seasoned them and simmered them in vegetable broth, covered, for close to an hour before they seemed tender enough to eat. There was still plenty of liquid in the pan, so I raised the heat and reduced it a bit. Finally the collard greens were ready to serve.

Dinner is served:
collard greens with roasted sea scallops
in a tomato/onion/basil coulis.
OK, dinner was better than I expected (I hadn't expected to enjoy the scallops). But I really didn't want to face the leftover half of the collard greens another night. So I put it in the blender, added water, spun it madly, heated it, added cream, divided it between two bowls, sprinkled it with chopped chives and pepper, and ended up with this:

Cream of collard greens soup
"This is the best possible way to fix collard greens," said my husband after his first mouthful. He may have been damning with faint praise.

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