If it’s good enough for the President it’s good enough for me. Or: Collard Greens: good for you.

Originally uploaded by M e l o d y

I read ‘somewhere’ that Collard Greens are really, really good for you, a cancer fighting green rich in antioxidants and vitamins and tons of fiber.  One cup of cooked collards offers your full daily Vitamin A, half your C and over 800 percent of your vitamin K.

A few weeks ago I posted this short entry (below) on Collard Greens asking for good recipes.  I got no responses.  And I’m thinking it’s because most of the people who read my blog are mostly white folk.  It turns out most white folk think Collard Greens are a nasty weed and we don’t know what to do with it.

Last night, at the first White House State Dinner , among other delicious things Collard Greens were on the menu and that got me looking and reading again.

And I want to cook them.  Help me out?

It turns out their pedigree dates back 2,000 years.  (And though they can’t spell Mediterranean …)

They originated, like kale, their kin, in Turkey, migrating, along with folks who grew it, to Greece and Rome. Julius Caesar allegedly treated collard greens as medicine, eating them after banquets to insure good nutrition and digestion.

Collards became a hit all over Europe and were introduced to America in the 17th century. They grew prolifically, especially in the South. While plantation owners considered collards weeds, slaves used the free and plentiful greens to make the humblest of meals sustaining and nourishing.  Despite their Mediterranian roots, they’re sturdily American.

Most of us know collards, if we know them at all, from the way slaves prepared them – as a mess o’ greens, slow-braised with pig parts. Collards are also a component of hopping john, a filling stew combining collards, black-eyed peas, which the slaves brought over from Africa . . . and more pig parts.

Now is the time collards flourish, and not just in the White House garden.  (Source:  http://www.meatlessmonday.com)

So I ask again, does anyone have good recipe for Collard Greens? Someone who has actually cooked them. Or will I have to go digging?


November 11th, 2009

Does anyone have a good recipe for Collard Greens?

Mine was bitter. Is this from the way I cooked it or something else I might have done?

They look so yummy but even with garlic and butter/olive oil they were super bitter.

C’ mon people. Let me know!!

3 thoughts on “If it’s good enough for the President it’s good enough for me. Or: Collard Greens: good for you.

  1. Greens are still not on my list of things I learned to eat…but we see a lot of them in NC – it’s a suitable side dish for just about anything. They even show up routinely in hot lunches at school! The key seems to be ham hock/bacon, onions, olive oil, and garlic. They’re supposed to cook slowly…simmer for at least an hour. I’ve had collard greens with sugar, too, but I’m not sure that helped any. They were still very “green”…


  2. This is the way greens (collards, kale, swiss chard, etc.) are cooked in Kenya. I’ve made them for lots of church suppers here (mostly white folks) and no matter how much I make, the dish always goes home empty:
    GREENS (I cheat and use frozen ones [2-3 12-16 oz bags for a church supper, 1 bag for family dinner]. If using fresh, wash really well. Cut finely – 1/4-1/2 inch shreds. Fresh greens cook down a lot, so use at least 2 bunches fresh for a family.)
    Sliced RED ONION (white onions are ok, if you don’t have red).
    ROMA TOMATOES, sliced long-wise (2-3 tomatoes per pack of frozen greens)
    Saute onion and tomatoes in OLIVE OR PEANUT OIL until soft but not brown.
    Add greens and a little bit of water – stir as they cook down. Add a little water as needed to keep them from sticking. Cook until done, soft but not mushy.
    When they’re done, season to taste with BEEF BOUILLION (powdered better than cubes).


Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

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