With two visits to BOHO in the last couple months, one of our favorite dishes was the ‘Collard Greens’. I had to try and reproduce them as they were incredibly good and as a green, collards are packed with nutrients and cancer fighting compounds.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this type of green, collards look like big leathery gray green leaves and are typically considered a southern crop. Most southerners would cook this up with bacon and Chef Wes at BOHO cooks his up with chicken but I decided to flavor them with a little of the fresh chorizo available to us SCV residents at Varrata market on Lyons. You can order it by the length or pound at the deli counter. I used the pork chorizo this time and it was very, very lean and full of flavor.
Varrata is also an economical source for collards. You will be able to get fresh greens there at better prices than any other market around. They are typically on sale there from 79 and 99 cents a bunch in season. They also show up at farmers markets in the area as they grow locally. If you drive the 126, you can see them growing in some of the fields, their gray green leaves are easily distinguishable.
Collards are also low in fat and full of vitamins – a cup of steamed collards has only 50 calories. A cup of collards goes a long way as they don’t break down like spinach and therefore are more mouth satisfying and filling.
I’ve heard folks cooking collards for hours, but this recipe I cooked for about 45 minutes on low. You don’t have to cook it that long, it’s nice to leave some chew in therm. Don’t cook them too long though, apparently they will start to smell sulfery – like overcooked cabbage. Mine didn’t and they tasted superb – a big hit, so I guess I didn’t over cook them. Good Luck!
Collard Greens with Chorizo by Debra Crawford
Serves 4 – 6
2 – Bunches of Collard Greens (each bunch is generally 12 leaves) ribs removed and discarded.
1 – Medium Onion, Chopped (1 cup)
1/2 – Cup (approximately 6 inches) Chorizo, removed from casing. You can also use Soyrizo for vegetarians, or a few strips of bacon, or 1 Italian sausage.
1 – Cup White Wine
2 – Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 – 6 oz Can Tomato Paste (3 oz)
1 – 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 – Dash Balsamic Vinegar (1 teaspoon) or Red Wine Vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and Pepper
Rinse collard greens and remove ribs on larger leaves. To do this easily, fold leaf length ways and slice along rib. See picture below. Slice leaves into strips approximately 1/2 ” wide.
In large pot, brown chorizo and onions until onions are softened and chorizo is nearly done. Add wine to deglaze the pan. Add greens, garlic, tomato paste, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar and vinegar. Stir and add enough water to just barely cover the greens. Salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer, and simmer for 1/2 hour. Test for sweetness, and add 1 additional tablespoon of brown sugar if necessary. Add lemon juice and continue simmering with the lid off to simmer off excess liquids until greens are cooked to desired tenderness.