These are the collard greens that once spiraled me into full-blown Collard-Related Astonishingly Voracious Eating (CRAVE), a rare-but-not-so-serious ailment. Symptoms include compulsively buying collard greens and garlic, and longingly glancing at Brazilian restaurants. I still relapse pretty frequently.
Spring collards are happily waving their round leaves at me in farmers market stalls these days. Helllooo, collards…
I first tasted collards like these at Tempero do Brasil, a nice Brazilian restaurant on the Ave in Seattle. They’re sliced into as fine ribbons as the knife can manage, and then sautéed simply with garlic, fat and salt. There’s a version with bacon, which I imagine is delicious for those who eat bacon.
I started making these at home, and discovered they’re incredibly simple and quick to make. Just chop the garlic up finely. Use at least a few cloves, and more if you’re a garlic enthusiast. To slice the collards, tear or cut out the stem, all the way up to the top third or so of the leaf where the stem is no longer bulky at all. then, slice the leaf lengthways once. Finally, roll the leaf up and cut very fine slices off the end of the roll until you have thin ribbons of garlic. Sauté in olive oil, salting to taste.
Collards are thicker than a lot of other greens, and so they hold their chewable texture well. They’re also smooth, giving a nice surface area for garlic, salt, and other flavors to show off.
Because they’re sautéed quickly, these collards stay bright green and retain a fresh, bright flavor. That means they work well as a side dish, providing a refreshing and contrasting taste between bites of fish stews, black beans, chicken dishes, or spicy meats.
Brazilian-Inspired Collard Greens with Garlic
- 1 bunch collard greens
- garlic to taste — between 3 cloves and 1 head
- olive oil
1. Chop garlic fine.
2. Remove ALL stems from collards, all the way up the leaf until the stem is no longer thick.
3. Slice the leaves once lengthways
4. Roll the leaf up and cut VERY thin slices off the roll. Repeat this with all leaves.
5. Heat oil. Add garlic and stir a few seconds. Add collards and stir well, coating the leaves. Sprinkle in salt.
6. Collards should cook only a few minutes. They’re done when all the dull, green raw-looking parts of the leaves have transformed into a bright, glossy, slightly-wilted green. Taste for salt and serve hot.