Do you love collards like I do? I’ve been eating leafy greens and kale all my life in my Portuguese cooking but collards were new to me when I moved to South Carolina. I would see them everywhere and was particularly intrigued by the large bundles of them seen on the local roadside stands. When I asked the gentleman how to cook them, he was more than happy to sit and offer up some suggestions. That was about 10 years ago now and collards have since become a staple in our home. I absolutely love them and with good reason. Collards are very nutritious and are high in vitamins K, A, and C, as well as calcium, iron and fiber and have been linked to lowering your cholesterol!
There are many ways to cook collards and the recipe the man told me years ago is pretty traditional around the Southern United States. His recipe used smoked ham hocks or bacon fat to add flavor and richness to the tender greens. I start mine with Andouille sausage for its spicy flavor. I like my collards soft and silky co I cook them for the full two hours. If you like a little more texture, try cooking them for only an hour and a half. If you want to make them without meat, you can always steam them for a fast, figure-friendly side dish. Collar Greens are so easy to prepare you’ll find yourself eating them often.
First I brown my sausage and add the onions to soften – about 3 minutes. Then I add the triple cleaned collards into the pot and top with some chicken stock. I then season with salt, ground black pepper, a dash of hot sauce, and some crushed pepper flake. Cover and simmer over low heat. Stirring occasionally.
A couple of hours later, you have a delicious side dish.
Braised Collard Greens
Yield 6 servings
Collards are very nutritious and are high in vitamins K, A, and C, as well as calcium, iron and fiber and have been linked to lowering your cholesterol!
1 pound smoked turkey sausage, sliced into rounds
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups water
1 large bunch collard greens [See Note]
In a large pot, bring 2-3 quarts of water to a boil and add chopped onions, smoked sausage rounds, salt, pepper, pepper flakes and hot sauce. Wash the collard greens thoroughly as sand often sticks in the leaves. Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your other hand or by folding the leaf in half and cutting the vein out of the back - I find this method to be quicker and easier. Stack a few leaves on top of one another, roll up, and slice into 1/2 to 1-inch thick slices. Place greens in pot. Cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. When tender, taste and adjust seasonings.
If you prefer, you may also buy bagged collards which have already been trimmed, chopped and triple rinsed. These bags are my favorite weeknight stand-in.
Nutritional information is given as a guide.
Serving Size 6 servings
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 5.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Unsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 37 mg
Sodium 983 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Sugars 1.6 g
Protein 11.6 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
How do you like your Collard Greens? Tell me your favorite recipe.