Can we get real with each other for a moment, friends?
I’m not the most adventurous cook, baker, or eater out there. I realize I probably just messed up your entire persona of who I am, but that’s the truth.
I blog about food and other fascinating aspects of life like my beloved hens (who still spending their afternoons plotting their great escapes), but I tend to stick to the comfort foods I most love. Hello, I wrote two posts over the last week above potatoes alone. See comfort zone.
Potatoes are a big comfort zone.
I’m kinda jealous of the foodies I mingle with at the market every Saturday morning (read more about my favorite market). Each eagerly reaching for the big balls of kohlrabi, pale parsnips, endive, and odd looking spinach I can’t even pronounce. They approach those foods with such confidence and ease. I just stand there watching, wondering what to do with a big ol’ root I can barely pronounce. Do I chop it, slice it, cook it whole? Does it even get cooked? I am just not one to confidently purchase unusual food.
This year I vowed I was going to live life on the wild side and be adventurous with food. I made a commitment to myself, my pots, my favorite wood cutting board, and my worn knives. This year would be different. I vowed to take them on food adventures they’d never known.
Each week since that little commitment, I’ve been purchasing just one fruit or veggie or unusual cut of meat which I simply don’t know how to prepare. Something that’s in- season, inexpensive, and leaves me wondering, “What in the world am I going to do with this?”
Since taking that challenge in my small kitchen, I’ve been amazed at the creativity that has been nurtured. When you only have mounds that, I-still-can’t-pronounce-your-name, spinach in your fridge, and a hungry family needing to be fed, necessity becomes the mother of invention.
Today, I’m sharing a recipe that developed from that pledge, Collard Greens.
For years I have watched my family adorn the holiday table with this simple, traditional dish. Each year I have passed the big ol’ bowl of wilted greens, turning my nose at the unusual sight of the collard green.
With collards big and plentiful at the market this Fall, I took the plunge. Oh my! The taste of freshly cooked collards perfectly seasoned with a beautifully-worn cast iron skillet and pastured bacon is a taste I will no longer pass up. Collards are no longer that feared bunch of unusual looking leaves, but a regular served at our table. One I believe you should fall in love with too. A dish not only to adorn your Thanksgiving table, but the perfect Fall and Winter dish as greens abound.
Didn’t I say I was going to be short and just give a small blurp about each of these holiday recipes I share. Oh, yes, I did say that here. Oops. Okay, wrapping it up.
Let’s get to the goodness, the tradition, the simplicity of well-cooked, perfectly seasoned collard greens.
- Wash, trim, and chop the collards.
- Cook the chopped bacon in a deep skillet or Dutch Oven (like this).
- Add the shallot and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Add ¼ cup chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any bits.
- Add the remaining broth, collard greens, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover.
- Cook for 45 minutes until the greens are soft and liquid reduced.
- Before serving add in the apple cider vinegar.
- Serve warm.
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