There are very few vegetables I don’t like prepared in some way. I don’t love green beans, for instance, but stir-fried with lots of garlic and toasted sesame oil? They’re pretty good. Lightly steamed with plenty of aioli in salad nicoise? Yeah, I’ll eat them. Covered in bread crumbs, deep fried, and served with wasabi ranch? Heck yes, even though I’m pretty sure they don’t count as vegetables any more.
I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I have never found a recipe for one vegetable that I have liked. That vegetable is collard greens. I like lots of other kinds of greens! Mizuna, swiss chard, kale, spinach of course… the KY Jelly of greens, sorrel, there’s escarole and watercress in my fridge right now, even some of the wild greens like lambs quarters I have good recipes for. I just have never had a collard green that I have liked.
The worst part is that collard greens are everywhere here. They are one of the few crops that will reliably grow here, no matter what. There are always piles and piles of them at the farmer’s market, usually untouched, while shoppers fight over the last head of fancy cauliflower or mizuna or tatsoi.
Collard greens are not sexy.
Not eating collard greens seems like refusing part of my culture, especially food culture, and that will just not do. So today I am going to the downtown farmer’s market and buying a couple bunches of collard greens. What should I do with them? What is your favorite collard greens recipe?