Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Collard Greens—From the Garden to the Table

RileyAdamsFoodBlogPostpic_thumb_thumb[3]Okay, y’all, I have a special treat for you today. I’ve been feeling sorry about how my pictures lately have been---well, less than picturesque. So today I have a pictorial journey for you, courtesy of my friend, Todd, who provided the illustrations for today’s recipe: collards! Yes, he actually went to a collard field, picked the greens, and cooked them. :)

Why do collard greens and the New Year go together? It’s a tradition in the Southern US to eat black-eyed peas and greens to ensure a lucky and prosperous New Year. The peas represented coins and the greens represent paper money. So there you have it! :)

126 124127 133


146 147

149 153005



· One large head collards- 2, if smaller heads

· 5 cups chicken stock

· 3 tbsp butter

· 2 tbsp vinegar (white or apple)

· 1 tbsp sugar

· Salt and pepper to taste

· 1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)


Cut the leaves from the head and wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the heavy steams by shaving the rib with a knife. You can also fold the leaf and pull or cut the stem away. Not all leaves need to be stripped as tender stems can add good texture. Stack 5-10 leaves on top of each other, roll and slice into 1-2 inch slices. You can adjust the size of your slices depending on how hearty you want the collards to be. Place the collards in the pot and add the chicken stock and butter and bring to a boil. You may have to let the collards cook down slightly to get all in the pot (depending on the size of your pot). Once the collards have cooked down some, about 15 minutes, add the remaining ingredients and reduce to a simmer. Cover and let the collards cook for 1 to 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally and check to make sure adequate liquid is in the pot, adding water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning as appropriate.

These are especially delicious when served with several dashes of vinegar induced with hot peppers and a side of cornbread.

Enjoy and be prepared for your whole kitchen to have a collard aroma!

005Hope you all have a happy, lucky, and prosperous 2011!

Delicious and Suspicious (July 6, 2010) Riley Adams
Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig


  1. And here I've been cheating by using collard greens from a can. :) Southern traditions can be fun. Hope you have a joyous and prosperous New Year too.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. Todd's photos are gorgeous. So sunny and pretty - a beautiful trip South just when I needed it most, and I can't wait to try this recipe. I especially love the vinegar for brightness and red pepper flakes for zing! (A great idea to boost the old immune system, too.)

    Wishing you the very best for 2011,
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. I infused some vinegar with chiles this year, and you're right, it is perfect with collards!

  4. OMG collards with vinegar and red pepper flakes! My mouth is watering. We used Franks hot pepper sauce. My dad used to grow these in the back of his barber shop, my mom cooked and froze them in baggies. We adult children would stop by and shop in her fridge. I agee that the photos are gorgeous.

  5. I love your pictures, Elizabeth! Collards for New Year's -- I never thought of that. I usually make spinach for the greens. This year I thought I'd go with a spinach salad, and black-eyed peas in a vinaigrette. But I might get collards at the store today instead!

    ~ Krista

  6. Love the pictures. Love the tour. How sweet of Todd to do that for you.


  7. Mason--Oh, I'm not above cheating, either! :) Happy New Year!

    Cleo--I think you definitely need some warm, Southern vibes to melt the snow up there a little! I've still got snow in my backyard, but it'll be 70 by the end of the week here. Weird weather!

    Pam--I think it's a great way to enjoy them!

    Vannie--Sounds like a happy way to get hooked up with collards!

    Krista--Spinach works really well, too! Happy New Year! :)

    Avery--It was, wasn't it?

  8. Elizabeth - thank you for demystifying collards for me. I've heard of them, of course, but never made any myself because I wasn't quite sure what to do. I knew I could probably use them like I do spinach, but I just never got around to trying. Now that I know what to do with them, I'm in!

    Great pictures. Cleo's right. Sunshine is a lovely thing right now... did you hear that we're in for a warm up? Should be 50 degrees by Saturday. Woo-hoo! T-shirt weather again!

  9. First I have to say you are out of your funk for the pictures they look good enough to eat from the computer ha. These are my favorite it is good to be a southerner at times like these. I had a friend come down last year from New Years from NJ and she did not understand why we only had collard greens, mac and cheese, black eye peas and corn bread. I had to explain the traditions to her.
    Great recipe Elizabeth oh and you might want to check at 5;30 in the am on the blog wink wink

  10. Julie --I'm so glad we're all thawing out a little! It's been the weirdest winter so far, and it hasn't even been winter for very long! Hope you'll try the collards. :)

    Babs--It does seem a little funny to just be eating sides, doesn't it? Ha! Too bad there's not lucky fried chicken for New Year's. :)

    Cool! I'll be sure to check it out, Babs!

  11. I use pickle juice instead of vinegar, and always have a pot of fresh collard greens and black-eye peas for New Years.