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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Cooking Collard Greens

I've had a request on how to cook collard greens. This works for any large leafed greens - collards, mustard or turnip greens.

The first thing I do is pull the leaves apart (if they are in a bunch) and place them in the kitchen sink and cover with water. I let them soak in the sink for about 30 minutes - this kills any unwanted protein (aka bugs).
Fold this side "in"

Then I strip the stem; fold the leaf in half so that it's smooth side is to the inside of the fold. Then grab the stem at the base and pull up; removing the stem completely and leaving only the "meaty" part of the leaf. Do this until they are all cleaned; place them in a large bowl as you work. Once they are all de-stemmed you will again rinse them in the sink.

Now the real secret to GREAT tasting greens. You will need to get a large pot (big enough for all the greens you just cleaned); in it you will fry up some hog jowls, fat back or any really good salted side meat or pork belly. (In a pinch I've even used bacon)
I bought this package today so that I can cook up some mustard greens this next week. I will cut this into thin strips before frying it up.
Once it's crisp remove the meat and keep to the side. In the pan - leave the grease and add the greens layering in some of the cooked meat; you want it's flavor throughout the greens. Be sure to add enough water so that when you look down in the pan it's about 1-2 inches deep AFTER you have added all the greens. The Greens will hold some of the rinse water but you may need to add a bit more.

Bring the greens to a boil. Give them a good push around to be sure none have stuck down to the pan and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Now comes the patience. Simmer an hour or two being sure to check on a regular basis so they don't cook down and burn. I stir with a large fork as the leaves wilt down. Once they've cooked down well you can cut them up in whatever size pieces you like. I cut through them in the pot about every 3" in each direction and that is it. GOOD EAT'N!


  1. Becky, Thank time we visit the meat & produce Local Market I will buy ingredients mentioned and give it a try..I have always wanted the "how to" of cooking greens from someone experienced in cooking them..YUMMY!

  2. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I'm always looking for inspiration!

  3. This is awesome! Thanks so much for the directions!


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