Collard greens are practically a staple of southern cooking, yet many people in other parts of the country have never tried them, let alone cooked them. So this is a good introduction to the dark-leafed, healthy vegetable.
In the South, you’ll find collards slow-cooked, often with fatback or a ham hock, and the resulting dish, though very tasty, is a pale grayish-green with a soft texture, like spinach. This recipe is very different. The thin-sliced ribbons of green are stir-fried in oil with onion, garlic and a bit of vinegar added at the end for extra flavor.
To prep the collard greens, fold the leaf in half lengthwise and cut off the stem and thick ribs with the Vegetable Knife, and then use the knife to julienne the stack of leaves.
If the collard greens are a little wilted, you can perk them up a bit by submerging them for several minutes in a large pan or bowl filled with cold water (even toss in a few ice cubes). Before preparing, be sure to blot the leaves dry.
Stir-Fried Collard Green Ribbons
- 1 large bunch collard greens (about 12 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or more to taste; optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Hot pepper vinegar or hot sauce for serving, if desired
- Clean the greens in a large bowl or sink full of water. Remove and discard stems and center rib from collard greens, then slice leaves crosswise into thin ribbons (about 1/4" wide). Towel dry or spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
- In a 12-inch heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and sauté until soft, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add the sliced greens and 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss to coat the greens in oil. Cook for about a minute, then toss the greens and let cook undisturbed for about 30 seconds. Toss again, then cook undisturbed for another 30 seconds. Continue tossing the greens and then cooking them in 30-second intervals for about 5 minutes or until the edges of some of the greens turn brown.
- Add the minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and stir constantly until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the vinegar and remove from heat. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve immediately with the hot pepper vinegar/hot sauce on the side.