This recipe for sautéed collard greens does not involve the traditional method of preparation in which the greens endure hours of simmering with a ham hock or smoked turkey wing. Instead, you can try this vegan option in only 20 minutes of cooking time. The introduction of a few key ingredients gives this dish what it needs to rival any meat-based recipe. Due to the mechanics of sautéing, this recipe typically yields 4 servings at most, so if you’re cooking for a large group, definitely do it in batches.
Being that collard greens are a staple in American Southern cooking, I wanted my recipe to pay tribute to the Caribbean influence of Jamaican pimento (aka. allspice), and the American Southern influence of tabasco peppers. These flavors combine with fresh lemon juice to cook down into a spicy, savory sauté which draws from two regions of the African diaspora.
- 1 bunch of collard greens (about 10 – 15 stalks)
- white vinegar for cleaning greens
- 6 – 8 tabasco peppers in vinegar, finely chopped
- tabasco vinegar from the bottle (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for cleaning
- 2 tsp. black pepper (freshly ground, preferred)
- 1/2 tsp. allspice (Jamaican “pimento”)
- 3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Cut the stems from the leaves lengthwise. Cut the leaves crosswise into your desired size. (The stems will not cook down in such a small amount of cooking time, but definitely save them to make a vegetable stock for a future recipe.)
- Soak the cut greens for at least one hour in a solution of water, about 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, and a splash of white vinegar. Drain the greens and set aside.
- Sauté the garlic, tabasco peppers and kosher salt in olive oil over high heat for a few minutes until the garlic turns slightly brown.
- Add the greens, lemon juice, tabasco vinegar, black pepper and allspice. Stir and toss as needed to ensure all ingredients are evenly coated. For a milder flavor, omit the tabasco vinegar.
- Continue to cook and stir on high heat (with no lid) for as long as is desired.