Saturday, January 28, 2012

Collard Recipes

As I am originally from Illinois, I would hate to tell anyone from Kentucky how to cook Collard Greens. They are a southern staple, and for good reason. They have a great mild cabbage flavor and - although not as nutrient dense as Kale - they are packed with vitamins. For this reason, like Kale, they can be diced and added to smoothies, quiches and sauces, but in smaller quantities. In the case that you want to stray from your family's collard cooking traditions and try something new, I submit the following recipes.

Sausage and Collards over Polenta

1 cup polenta (coarse ground yellow corn)
4 cups water
½ cup parmesan or romano, grated
1 bunch collards
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, diced
3/4-1lb spicy sausage (preferably smoked)
3 garlic cloves, minced
dry oregano
1 lb tomatoes, peeled (or not) and chopped

Bring the water to a boil and gradually sprinkle in the polenta, whisking constantly to avoid lumping, and return the mixture to a low simmer. Continue stirring regularly so no lumps form, and cook over low heat until completely cooked, about 30 minutes. Fold in salt and the cheese and keep warm.
While the polenta cooks, rinse the collards then slice them thinly, discarding stems. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and sweet pepper until lightly browned and softened, about 5 minutes over high heat. Dice one sausage and add it to the onions with the garlic and a generous pinch of dry oregano. Heat through and add about a cup of water, then the collards. Give them a hit of salt and cover, stirring occasionally, until the collards are tender, about 15 minutes. Brown the remaining sausage and slice into thin rounds. Add them with the tomatoes to the collards and heat through for another 5 minutes or so. Mound the polenta on a serving plate and top with the collard/sausage mixture.

Curried Collards with Lentils

  • 1.5 tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp mango powder (optional)
  • cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch Collard Greens, chopped
  • Basmati Rice
Cover lentils with 2 cups of water, and boil 30 minutes, or until cooked.
Meanwhile, sautee the onion, garlic, and ginger in the ghee.
When the onion is soft, add the sliced carrots, and sautee for 5 minutes.
Add the spices, canned tomatoes, chopped collard greens and cooked lentils. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until collard greens are done. You may need to add a little water if there isn’t enough in the canned tomatoes.

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