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swirl and savor

Farm Fresh Southern Collard Greens

Beth Ribblett

The beautiful weather on Saturday made for the perfect day to visit the Crescent City Farmers Market. As we were walking in I ran into our friend Bob who had a gigantic bag of greens in his hands and told me that the collards were amazing and that I needed to get some. I do love me some big leafy greens so we made a beeline to the back of the market and bought our own gigantic bag. If you are a vitamin K junkie like me, this is a great time to be shopping at the market. Loads of varieties of lettuce, kale, mustard and collard greens as well as broccoli and broccoli rape can be found from your local farmers.

We decided to have them that night, accompanied by a big, juicy, Justin Pitts burger. And since they were collards, the quintessential southern sauteed vegetable, I decided they needed a southern twist instead of my usual method. Well they were absolutely divine, so much so that the two of us ate ALL of them in one sitting! I'm not sure on the amount that we bought, but I'm guessing that 1-1/2 lbs. isn't far off...

  • 1 gigantic bunch of fresh collard greens from your local farmer
  • 3 slices of smoked bacon, cut into 1" pieces
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 small shallot, sliced thin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Put a big pot of water (about 1/3 full) with a teaspoon or so of salt, on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, trim the greens by cutting out most of the big stem and then slice across in 1-2" wide cuts. Prep your bacon, garlic and shallots while waiting on the water to boil.

Add the cut greens to the boiling water at cook for 10 minutes. Strain into a colander, rinse with cold water and then press out as much of the water as you can.

Put a large skillet on the stove at med-high heat and brown the bacon. You don't want it crispy, just brown on the edges with moist fat in the middle. Remove the bacon unto a paper towel and add a few tablespoons of olive oil, turning down the heat just a bit to medium. Throw in the garlic and shallots and quickly stir them around with a spatula so they don't burn. They will cook very quickly. Add the greens a little at a time and stir into the onion/shallots until coated with oil.

Once you've added all of the greens, throw in the bacon and mix in evenly. Season with salt and pepper, but remember the bacon is salty, so taste before you do so. Enjoy!

related recipes: juicy justin pitts burgers, sauteed kale
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