Filled with the bold flavors of garlic and ginger, this recipe for Sauteed Collard Greens is not to be missed. Why not whip up a batch today?
I didn’t grow up eating collard greens. In my 80s New York upbringing, lettuce and spinach were our greens. But over the years, I have found a love for mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale and more. I am happy to add collard greens to that list.
Collard greens are a cornerstone of southern cooking. They belong to the same plant family as Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Collards are also a good source of fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and more.
But I wouldn’t be eating collards now if not for a chance meeting with them, so to speak.
A year or two ago, a colleague excitedly told me about Misfits Market, an online service that mails boxed of vegetables and fruits to subscribers. You sign up for weekly or biweekly delivery, and the box arrives filled with overstocks and otherwise perfectly imperfect produce. At the time, I wasn’t prepared for the uncertainty of a service like that.
But as I wrapped up work on my latest cookbook (it arrives in July!), I was ready for a change. And if that change came with some degree of unpredictability and excitement, all the better.
My first box arrived this past Saturday (and I totally Facebook Live’d opening it!). It included cauliflower, apples, pears, potatoes and more. And it had collard greens, which I haven’t eaten in ages.
Determined to make use of everything in the box, I set out to cook them — and maybe even enjoy it.
These greens were perfect for sauteing. With the bold flavors of garlic, ginger and paprika and the light contrast of rice vinegar, these became a wonder. I ate these with rice and a roasted cauliflower dish for lunch almost all week.
I didn’t use the collard stems in this recipe, but they are edible. They can be chopped up (like you would Swiss chard stems) and sauteed as well. So if you have some, don’t be afraid to eat them too.
To make this recipe for Sauteed Collard Greens, you start by chopping the greens. Cut them into bite-size pieces so they cook evenly and are easy to eat.
Next comes the cooking.
Saute the garlic and ginger briefly and then add the greens to the pan. Season them and cook them, stirring. Collard greens will cook down pretty quickly. Then finish them off with rice vinegar, which they cook in, covered for a few minutes.
These make a tasty side dish and reheat well.
As with any greens though, they cook down a lot. Fortunately, it only takes a little to be fully satisfied.
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- Prepare the collard greens. First, remove the leaves from the stems. Then chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. You won't be using the stems in this recipe. They can be disposed of, composted or used for something else.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and the ginger and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Add the collard greens to the skillet. Toss well with the garlic and ginger to combine. Season with salt and paprika. Toss again.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the collard greens reduce in size by about one-half.
- Add the rice vinegar. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the collards are a dark green and the liquid is mostly evaporated. Some may dry or turn a very, very dark color. This is okay — just scrape this part into the bowl too. It's delicious.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.