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May 31 2012 / Emily

An attempt at Collard Greens

I’m trying to branch out in my cooking now and then, and I figured that some good southern cooking might be the ticket.  Yesterday I was considering kale at the grocery when I decided on collard greens instead.  I’ve never had kale (I don’t think), but I know I like collards, or at least I have the few times they’ve been served.  But I’d never made them before!

So when I got home, I started looking up recipes for collards and they all seemed to involve a lot of bacon or ham and a lot of time.  I wanted moderately healthy greens and finally came across this recipe: Sauteed Collard Greens.  I used it as a jumping off point and below you will find my results.  I suppose I should add that they weren’t really what I was hoping for, and weren’t awesome, but they were fine.  Not a strong recommendation, per se, but just an exploration into cooking something new.

If you have any great recipes for the rest of my bundle of greens, do share!

Garbanzo Greens

1 bunch collard greens
1 cup drained canned garbanzo beans (chick peas)
2.5 tablespoons diced garlic (mine comes in a squeeze bottle)
1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon bacon grease
pepper & lemon pepper to taste
all ingredient measurements are approximate

Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Break apart and rinse your greens.

Cut out the thickest part of the spine/rib of each leaf.

Cut into strips about 1 inch wide.
Boil for 12-15 minutes.

After they are boiled sufficiently (make sure they have lost much of their toughness, though they won’t be mushy), drain into a colander.
If you have stovetop space, you could have already done this, but I don’t have room, so I had to wait.
Get a frypan/skillet heating up with your bacon grease, (half) the olive oil and (half) the garlic.
Add drained greens and drained garbanzo beans.

Honestly this is where I stopped watching the clock, but I kept them going in the pan for at least 15 minutes.

During this, add the other half of the oil and garlic if you didn’t before.  If your pan is bigger than mine, maybe it’ll be easier for you to stir and you could do that all at once.  It was just a bit difficult for me to stir everything around enough without flipping food onto the stove.

Continue to saute until the greens reach your desired tenderness.
Season to taste and serve.  With beer.



  • The greens never got as tender as I was expecting them to.
  • I think using the bacon fat was a waste, as it didn’t add noticeable flavor but probably added unneeded fat and sodium.
  • I felt like I added SO much garlic but I still tasted the olive oil more.
  • If I made this again, I’d add a lot more spices.  More garlic, but also some other stuff, particularly during the saute stage.
  • I’d probably also boil them longer, and perhaps put some salt in the boiling water.
  • The greens I’ve liked in the past were probably the cook-for-hours-with-fatback type.  Good to eat, but not something I’ll bring myself to make.
  • collard greens don’t wilt like spinach!  they are much thicker!
  • I don’t even know why I still have this mug of bacon fat in my fridge.  I haven’t cooked bacon in a couple years.  But I can’t get rid of it!

But, I did eat them all (and it was a LOT), and wasn’t too upset that I was eating them.  They were just boring and a little too olive-oily (wonder if Popeye ever tried collard greens when he was bored of spinach?).  I’ll be honest, I was planning to have some nice froyo for dessert since all I was having for dinner was greens, but I ate so much that I had no room at all for dessert!  I was honestly disappointed.  haha.


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