Dish of the Week: Collards
These are deep south, ya'll. Turnip greens are great, mustard greens an acquired taste but delicious. Still, the mighty collard tops them all for me. This is the time of year for them fresh, after a frost or two has sweetened them up in the field.
Wash these, then strip the woody stems out, put them in water with chicken stock, and cook slow in a crock or an enameled pot (think Le Creuset) with onions (that you browned in oil first, before you put the stock and greens in), a ham hock or some pieces of country ham, black pepper and salt, and red pepper flakes until toothsome. You don't want them to bite back at you, but you don't want them droopy and cooked out. Top them with vinegar or, as we are apt to do down here, some Tabasco or hot sauce, and you have mighty fine eating. For New Year's Day we combine these with black-eyed peas (the coin to the collard cash) for good luck.
If your taste doesn't go to this style, you can find collard dishes in Brazilian and Ethiopian cuisine, and Philadelphia's famous Pepper Pot soup can be made with collards. Collards are rich in Vitamins A and C, and even have a little protein in them.
I do love me some collards!