Hearty, braised collard greens are a traditional Southern dish served with vinegar or lemon juice. They make a delicious vegetable side dish!
This past weekend, Will and I went to Nashville! Since it was bitter cold there (not as bad as Minnesota though!), we spent most of our time inside trying new restaurants and listening to country music. Not bad, huh?!
We also ate at Husk, one of the best restaurants in Nashville. I’ve been wanting to visit this restaurant for years, and I’m so glad we were able to get a reservation! The food did not disappoint, and my favorite dish was the “Platter of Seasonal Vegetables.” It included potato fritters, savory mushroom grits, stewed tomatoes and kale, and a few other delicious combinations.
I had this trip in mind when I came up with my recipe for this month’s Recipe Redux. The Recipe Redux is a group of dietitian bloggers who create recipes based on a different theme each month. For January, we were tasked with showcasing an ingredient that’s “new” to us.
So in honor of our trip to Nashville, I chose to work with collard greens! These hearty greens are a staple of Southern dishes, and are often braised with citrus or vinegar and, sometimes, ham or bacon. I don’t have any recipes on the site using collards, so I figured it was about time to change that. Plus, aren’t they so pretty?!
What are Collard Greens?
Collard greens are hearty, leafy greens that come from the same family as cabbage and broccoli. They have a vibrant color and a slightly bitter taste. These greens are also packed with vitamins A, C, and K. You can eat collard greens raw or cooked, but most people prefer them cooked.
Since they are so hearty, collard greens are usually in season during the winter months. So, this recipe is seasonal too!
Besides adding collards to homemade green juice, I have very little experience with them in the kitchen. But I absolutely love to get collard greens when I go to Southern restaurants! So this recipe is my attempt at making a dish that resembles restaurant collards.
How to Make Quick Braised Collard Greens
Most other recipes for braised collard greens call for a long cooking time. While this helps make them tender and adds flavor, I don’t think cooking greens for a long time is always necessary. In my experience, you can get tender, delicious greens in 20 minutes or less.
But to do this, you need to cook them in a large skillet with a cover, instead of a pot. The larger surface area in a skillet allows the greens to spread out and cook more quickly.
Collard greens naturally lose some of their bitterness as they cook, but it’s also important to braise them with the right flavors and finish them with an acid. I cooked these Quick Braised Collard Greens in garlic and onion, before finishing them with a red wine vinegar. You can also use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. And don’t forgot to add salt and pepper to taste when you’re finished!
Quick Braised Collard Greens
An easy version of a traditional Southern dish! Only 5 main ingredients and less than 20 minutes of cooking time.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion chopped, about 1/2 cup
- 3 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1 bunch collard greens stems removed and sliced into 1-inch strips
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar more to taste
- Sea salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is tender.
Prepare the collard greens by removing the stems and slicing the leaves into 1-inch strips. Add the greens to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the greens are tender and the water is mostly evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in the red wine vinegar.
Serve with salt and pepper, lemon wedges (optional), and enjoy warm!
Want to make these Quick Braised Collard Greens? Pin now to make later!
Be sure to check out the other recipes in this month’s Recipe Redux!