Collard greens are a nutritious vegetable that can continue to grow into the hot Florida summer. Two advantages that collards have over many other greens is that they are super easy to clean, and there is minimal shrinkage – so you don’t have to pick (or buy) a boatload to get a dish of fresh cooked greens.
Cooking and baking with brown butter is becoming more and more popular – for good reason. Its nutty flavor and the richness it adds to dishes is very unique. As far as collard greens go, brown butter is a delicious, healthy alternative to the long stewing-in-ham-hock-“pot likker”-method (that, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy!). I was surprised to hear my husband strongly request this brown butter recipe when I brought some collards home the other day, I didn’t know it was his favorite way to eat them.
Collards can have that bitter greens taste, so I do recommend parboiling them for a few minutes just to ensure the sweetness comes through when you’re ready to add them to any recipe. I generally do the same with kale and find it’s well worth that extra step. Parboiling also reduces your sauteing time; the brown butter collards take no time once your butter is ready!
For more information on how we grow collards and their nutritional benefits, please visit the recent post Super Healthy Collards.
I hope you enjoy this unusual and delicious way to eat collards!
Delicious collard greens cooked in brown butter - your family will swear you have meat in them!
Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Start bringing a medium pot of water to a boil.
Make your brown butter. Melt the half stick of butter on low heat in a light colored pot (so you can discern the colors of the finished product). Continue to cook the butter for about 20 minutes on simmer. Do not skim fats from the top; they should eventually sink to the bottom. You are looking for a brown (not golden) clear liquid on the top, burnt looking milk solids on the bottom, and a nutty aroma. Pour off the liquid into a bowl (strain if needed) and discard the solids.
While your butter is cooking, wash the collards and remove the tough center ribs while cutting the leaves in half vertically. Stack several halves together at a time and cut across the leaves to make 1 inch ribbons.
Add the collards and a dash of salt to the pot of boiling water. Parboil them (uncovered) on a simmer for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Rinse in cool water and drain; set aside.
Heat half of the brown butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapenos and cook until the onions begin to soften. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the parboiled greens and the teaspoon of salt.
Cook the greens, stirring often for about 10 minutes or until they are as soft as you like. Add more brown butter as needed for moisture and flavor. Adjust seasoning for salt and pepper.