I will be the first to admit that Southern-style collards are not for everyone. Called "slow-cooked" collards, they are traditionally boiled to death at low temperature with a ham hock and a measure of salt. At the end they're salty, wet, and sort of grey-green. We didn't eat a lot of collards in my house.
So when I opened our CSA bounty-bags this week and got to see collards in their natural, uncooked form for the first time, I realized that they might still have potential. The recipe I came up with is a simple sauté that utilizes those delicious, in-season garlic scapes and makes the collards tender while retaining a toothsome crunch.
Sautéed Collard Greens with Garlic
About 2 lbs. collards
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 chopped garlic scapes, or 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
Rinse collards well. Stack leaves, 3 at a time, and tightly roll lengthwise into a cigar shape. Slice crosswise into 1/2-inch strips; discard stems and center ribs as desired. Set chopped collards aside.
Combine butter and olive oil in a sauté pan and melt over medium heat. Add scapes or minced garlic and sauté briefly, about thirty seconds. Add collard greens; sauté, turning frequently, about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add lemon juice and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat, salt to taste and serve immediately.
What came in our CSA this week:
Mesclun salad (mixed greens)
...And one collard-happy slug who survived, unbeknownst to us, overnight in the refrigerator, before being discovered and returned to the great outdoors. Bet you never see that in a supermarket!