Collards are deliciously mild greens that, because they're so tough and fibrous, require long cooking. Like many greens, they're often fried in fat then stewed with ham hocks or other bits of pork. Unfortunately, many of the nutrients get leached into the cooking liquid and thrown away, so sop up the “pot liquor” with homemade cornbread.
Pot liquor? Nutrients? Bah! No, really, there's all sorts of good stuff in them leafy greens. You got yer beta carotene (think vitamin A), vitamin C and calcium (hello, lactose intolerant?). Plus, one serving of collards has almost as much fiber as a bowl of All Bran. I don't know about you, but I'd rather eat a bowl of smoky, porky greens than a bowl of shredded medium density fiberboard, I mean All Bran.
Here's a recipe for collard greens that's reasonably healthy.
1 large bunch collard greens (64 ounces cut and washed)
3 cups Swanson's Natural Goodness chicken stock (or homemade)
2 medium onions, chopped
3 whole garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup chopped smoked ham hock or other smoky pork goodness
Salt and red chile flakes or powder to taste
1) Rinse the greens in several changes of cold water to remove all sand and grit. Cut out the thickest parts of the stems and chop the rest coarsely.
2) Put greens, broth, onions, garlic and ham hock in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
3) Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender. Depending on the thickness of the leaves and stems, this could 30 minutes or two hours.
4) Serve with warm cornbread and pork chops. Don't forget the pot liquor!
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