Sautéed Collard Greens
By: Eleni Saltas
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as harvesting fresh greens from your own garden and transforming them into a delightful dish. Our garden collard greens are thriving at the moment, so I decided to make a staple Southern recipe with a little Greek twist—because nobody but a Greek would add oregano to their collard greens. In my rendition, vegetable broth and liquid smoke lend a meatless alternative that still captures the smoky flavor. Leave as is or finish with some crumbled feta and a squeeze of lemon juice for an “Greekier” take.
2 bunches collard greens (or about 3 pounds)*
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano, or more to taste
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, or more to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon chili flakes, or more to taste
1 cup vegetable broth, or more as needed
2 cups fresh tomatoes (or use one 15-ounce canned tomatoes, drained of their liquids)
1 ½ teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup feta cheese, for garnish (optional)
lemon wedges, for serving
Step by Step Instructions
Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Cut the tough stems and discard. Chop the leaves in bite sized pieces. I like to chiffonade the greens by stacking a handful of leaves, roll them like a cigar and cut into medium strips with a knife.
Heat a medium sized pot to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and season well with salt, pepper, oregano, smoked paprika, and chili flakes. Saute for 5-7 minutes and then add the garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes or until translucent and fragrant.
Add the chopped collard greens, stirring to combine with the onions. They will cook down!
Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, liquid smoke, and lemon juice. Reduce the heat and simmer until the greens are tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally while cooking and check for flavor. I like to add a little more oregano and smoked paprika here. Add more liquid if needed.
Serve the collard greens warm or garnished with feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon.
*Note on preparing the collard greens: If using collard greens from your garden, be sure to wash well. Fill up your sink or a bowl with water and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and one teaspoon of salt. Add the collard greens and soak and scrub off any dirt. Rinse and drain.