Again, it’s from the Acheson book, which is wonderful. Basically, you start with a lot of greens. I think we got four pounds, which sounds like a lot, but these cook down ridiculously, so they all eventually fit in the pot we had. You’re supposed to wash them multiple times— I did it thrice— to make sure the leaves are clean and all the soil is gone. After removing the stalks and cutting the leaves into strips about an inch in width, I sauteed a minced yellow onion, added the greens, and then once I had cooked them down enough to fit them all in the pot, added some maple syrup, some chicken stock, red pepper, salt, and a slab of bacon, which is what we had, but the recipe seemed to imply that ham hock is preferable. I’m not sure what the vegetarian alternative is— in this recipe, which is pretty close to what I did, Acheson apparently says “If you are vegetarian, cook something else,” which, well, I don’t know. Anyway, then I covered it and let it cook for about two hours, and added a tablespoon of butter at the very end.
As unhealthy as that sounds, I’m pretty sure I used a lot less butter and fat in these than most of the collard greens I grew up eating used. Two hours is also a relatively short time to cook them, which means that the greens definitely got that nice limp consistency, but they weren’t cooked to within an inch of their lives, and there might even have been some vitamins left in them.
I didn’t like greens when I was a little kid, but now they’re one of my favorite things. My father swears that turnip greens, not collard greens or mustard greens, are where it’s at, and while I think I might still prefer collard greens, they’re pretty good, too.