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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.
Homemade 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 1/4 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.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #LIVESIMPLYBLOG. I'd love to see what you make!