Collard greens are a delicious side dish that’s also packed with nutrition! Our recipe matches them up with some of their best friends – sweet sauteed onion, aromatic garlic, and beautifully bright lemon juice. Once you get cooking with this easy recipe, collard greens will earn a permanent spot on your table!
Why You Should Eat Collard Greens
Collard greens are delicious leafy veggies that are closely related kale, and also in the same species cabbage and broccoli. Like its relatives, collard is a cruciferous vegetable. Thanks to a nutrient called sulforaphane, these plants can potentially fight cancer, protect you against infection and pollutants, and boost your liver’s detox function.
In addition, collard greens are packed with nutrition. They’re an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C. In terms of minerals, collards are high in calcium and manganese. And that’s just the super high nutrients – there’s a whole pile of other good things in these babies.
How this Recipe Works
Collards are nutritious and delicious, but they can be bitter. But never fear! It doesn’t take much to balance them out. First of all, we cook them with sautéed yellow or sweet onions, which add sweetness. Then, we sprinkle them with lemon juice. This step adds acid, which brightens up the collard’s earthy flavors and adds another counterpoint to any bitterness.
Optional Extra: the other thing that a plate of collard greens loves is smoky flavors. How do you work these into the dish without nasty processed meats? The answer is simple – just swap out the crushed red pepper for spicy, smoky chipotle powder!
Working with Collards
To begin with, you need to buy your greens. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Look for dark, glossy green leaves.
- Make sure the collard is firm and crisp.
- Avoid it if it’s brown or yellow.
Now it’s time to prep. Collard greens have tough, woody stems. Therefore, the first step is to get rid of them. Take a sharp knife and cut along each side of the stem. Now, wash the leaves very well. Collards tend to be sandy, so you want to make sure you get rid of all that grit.
With the leaves clean, you need to cut them into 1/4 inch (6mm) strips. It needs to be thin because we’re cooking our collard greens very quickly and we don’t want it to be tough. The easiest way to do this is to roll up the leaves (lengthwise) and slice them into ribbons.
How to Cook Collard Greens
Alright, let’s get down to business. Firstly, heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Next, add the chopped onions and garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant and the onion is soft and translucent.
Now it’s time to add the crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, and collard greens. Start by piling as many as you can into the pan. Don’t worry if they don’t fit – the first handful will wilt quickly, and then you can add the rest. Stir fry the greens until they’re just tender – but don’t overdo it! The key to cooking with collard greens is to stop while they’re still vibrant and green and before they go mushy.
We hope this recipe helped your cook some great collard greens. If you tried it, please let us know what you think with a comment and rating. Every bit of feedback helps make The Plant Riot even better.
And if you’re looking for something to serve your Collard Greens with, check out our Holiday and Thanksgiving recipes. Alternatively, they’re the perfect accompaniment for breakfast, like our Smoky Baked Beans and Tofu Scramble.Print
How to Cook Collard Greens | Zesty, Garlicky Stir-Fry
Let’s get cooking with these healthy and delicious collard greens – they’re nutrition-packed and taste amazing paired with onions, garlic, and lemon juice.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings, as a side dish 1x
- Prepare the collard greens by removing the woody stems, then roll up the leaves and cut them into 1/4 inch / 6mm strips. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant and the onion has softened.
- Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper, stir to combine. Then pile in as many collard greens strips as you can. Don’t worry if they don’t fit – the first handful will wilt quickly, and then you can add the rest.
- Stir-fry the greens until they’re just tender, and are still vibrant and green, around 3-5 minutes.
- Take the stir-fried collard greens off the heat and add a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Sprinkle with a little extra crushed red pepper, salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately! Enjoy!
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