Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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My Experiment with Collard Greens

Posted by terrepruitt on March 3, 2011

I always hear about collard greens and how nutritious they are.  I was in the store the other day shopping after my Nia class.  I always feel energetic after Nia.  Sometimes even a little adventuresome, so I decided to buy some collard greens.  I was hoping I could cook some mushrooms and throw the greens in and let them steam a little bit.  I looked up how to cook collard greens and what I found was boil with ham hock.  Uh-oh.  The two things I read talked of cooking the bitter out or disguising it with bacon or ham.  I looked at the pictures of dull green soggy veggies piled on a plate and realized why I had never eaten collard greens.  Ewwww.  It looks like a soggy pile of spinach.

I decided to go ahead with my plan.  I minced a shallot and cooked the mushrooms.  I didn’t salt the mushrooms because I was thinking that I would need all the salt I could use on the collard greens AND I would need to sweat the greens.  Right as the mushrooms were done cooking I put a little butter in the pan, I was thinking this would help counter-act the bitter I had read about.

I put some wine in the pan.  I was thinking in addition to the salt sweat I was going to have to somewhat steam the greens because I had also read something about the greens being tough.  I put the greens in and put a spoonful of minced garlic on it.  Then salted it a bit.  They cooked much faster than I thought considering what a heart leaf it is.

So, my hubby was happy.  It tasted like the mushrooms I usually cook or like all the other veggies except there was a slight sourness to it.  So, now that I know they don’t taste horrible and they can be cooked and enjoyed without boiling them with  ham hock, I can step away from the normal flavoring and try other flavors.  Ones that will compliment the strong flavor of the leaf.

Do you cook collard greens?  Do you boil them with the ham hock?  How do you cook them?  Give me some ideas because I think I will be making them a lot more because it really made my husband happy.

18 Responses to “My Experiment with Collard Greens”

  1. SuziCate said

    You’re a good wife…I refuse to give in and cook collard greens for my hubby. He only gets them at his mother’s house.


    • I am not a good wife. I didn’t really remember he liked collard greens and when I did (after I bought them) I assumed he would only like them if they were cooked “traditional” (boiled with meat). But he loved them the way I did them. And it made him so happy. Believe me, if you cooked them and it made Dirt Man as happy as it made my hubby you would cook them. It is so worth it. He was REALLY happy. AND they are so good for you. I am so excited he loves a veggie.

      Collard greens are going to end up on our dinner plate at least once a week. It will probably turn into twice because I cooked them, we at them, and there were left overs.

      Why won’t you cook ’em?


      • suzicate said

        I just remember them as being slimy and bitter when I ate them as a child…and they created a horrible smell throughout the house…but I have heard that Dwights are the bomb! Maybe he’ll cook them for Dirt Man sometime! Then I can use the excuse that mine will never be that good and I’ll be off the hook forever!


        • Right. I always thought of them as slimy too. I think that is what would happen if you cook them for a long time. Although . . . . I’m willing to try Dwight’s recipe. You haven’t tried his collard greens? What? Are they holding out on you?

          When I sauteed them they were not bitter. They WERE sour, and my husband said that was the “bitter”, but sour and bitter are NOT the same so I think I did the sour somehow . . . .I can’t remember what I put in it that might have been sour except for the sherry. Combined with the bitter it could have made sour. But I used my “regular” spices — garlic and onion (well, I used a shallot, but close enough) and they were fine. Saute them or steam them and they shouldn’t be slimy. I went to the store today to pick up something else, they didn’t have collard greens so I couldn’t get any. But I will later this week. I’m gonna make them a weekly thing!

          You are so funny.


  2. dwight burke said

    Hello! Just dropping a comment from Square Peg in a Round Hole! She loves my “greens” as they say in the south! Here is how to cook greens.Buy 2 bunches of greens(they reduce by 50%) Clean well and cut out the thick middle vain. The chop in your picture looks great. Chop all the greens and set aside. Chop 1 large onion,set aside. In a large pot put 48 ozs of fat-free chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add half your greens. Place 4 smoked turket wings, 2 tbsp sugar and your chopped onion. Put the remaining greens in and and 4 cups of water. Cover and reduce to med-low heat. Cook for 2 hours. Add water or stock as needed(Should look like a thick soup) When the leaves are tender add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving add half cup of italian dressing. stir in well. Remove turkey wings. Here in the south we add the meat back in. Try it you may like them! Love your blog,been reading for a year!


    • Oh Hello there! I am so excited to see you here. Wow! You’ve been reading for a year!?!? Oh, that makes me feel very lucky and happy. Thank you. Thank you for commenting. Wow!

      I didn’t cut out the middle stem part . . . . I wondered about that. I used a shallot this time, but I think I will go with onion next time. I love shallots, but I think a stronger flavor would go better with the greens.

      I like the idea of using turkey instead of ham. I believe that I would love the flavor of this, but if you cook the greens for two hours doesn’t that make them soggy green slime? I have an issue with slimy kind of veggies. That is why I don’t like cooked spinach. I am willing to give this a try. Thank you for your recipe.
      (Oh, I am just so thrilled you read and you commented. Thank you! Made my day!)


  3. You always make me happy, so don’t go giving the collard greens all the credit 😉

    They really were great though!


    • I am so happy you liked them. It made you so happy we will be having them more often. Prepare your taste buds for more experiments.

      As you recommended I will add some heat for you. I bet pepper would do the trick. I will just take mine out first.

      Thanks, babe!


  4. niachick said

    Me loves ham hocks. Beans and ham hocks mostly. I’ve never tried them with collard greens. We eat lot of greens: spinach, kale, swiss chard, beet greens, etc. I’ll have to tell Frank about them since he’s the chef of the house. I would think some crumbled bacon would be good, too. Slurp, yum. (Can you tell I’m feeling better, Terre?)…

    Thanks for this blog (as always) and the comments you’ve gotten back from it, too!!! Yay! I’ll give Frank the recipe that the gentleman from Square Peg shared. Thanks Dwight!




    • We eat spinach, but not the other greens you named. I would like to start eating all of those greens.

      Yes, I would think frying some bacon then sauteing the collard greens in that would be good. Bacon is yummy. I love bacon, but that is one of those foods that I consider a treat. I was thinking that I might be able to go to the deli down the street and buy just two pieces of bacon. That way it would really be for flavoring and we wouldn’t have an entire pound of bacon around. Bacon is yummy. I love bacon, but that is one of those foods that I consider a treat.

      With two pieces of bacon I could cook the bacon then cook the greens in it and I think that would be ok as a treat. I would like to try Dwight’s recipe too . . . . its with turkey. I love when people share stuff on my blog. Fun!!!


  5. Becky said

    Greens! I’m from the south, so yay!
    But actually, I don’t like greens cooked the southern way — never eat them like that. Your way sounds much better! I would totally eat that.


  6. Melisa said

    Collards! I was inundated with them and made collard green pesto which was surprisingly good: http://magpieeats.blogspot.com/2009/06/what-to-do-with.html

    And they are a must in hoppin’ john. I don’t eat pork but learned that the way to a delicious bowl of beans is to used a smoked turkey leg. They are ugly but they made the beans absolutely delicious: http://magpieeats.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-new-year-hoppin-john.html


    • Yay, other ways to eat collard greens. I might try the pesto, but I am not a pesto fan, but this could make me one. But I would use pine nuts because I like pine nuts. I am just learning to eat beans and I am not at the point where I can eat them cooked in a dish so . . . . I will have to pull this recipe out again, when I am at that point. Thanks, Magpie!



  7. […] what it was.  Well, some of the produce at the store was less than desirable.  I passed on the collard greens and I couldn’t find the green garlic.  I had my mind made up that I was going to make soup […]


  8. […] leafy vegetables; dark green leaf lettuce, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard […]


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