Bar none, sautéing is the second most common cooking method for collard greens. Typically, chefs lean towards longer cook times when it comes to collards, but sautéing has never fallen out of style. We’d recommend incorporating strong flavors like garlic or red-pepper flakes while sautéing in order to help limit any unwanted bitterness in your collards.
- Pro Tip: Cut your collards into strips before sautéing so they’re easier to cook. Additionally, be sure to add all the greens at once so they cook evenly.
Side dishes don’t need to be time consuming. Roasting collard greens alongside classic pairings like bacon and garlic creates a simple, crowd pleasing side with the just the right amount of crunch. On the healthier side, collards also excel when roasted with other heart greens like spinach or kale into “chips.” Collard chips are easy to season too; try starting with a simple salt and pepper mixture or get creative with your favorite chip flavor!
If you want to your collard greens cold, blanching is without a doubt your best option. Generally, collards can be a little tough if served totally raw, so blanching can help tenderize them a bit. We particularly enjoy exploiting the thicker texture of collards by substituting them in “lettuce” wraps after blanching!
Although closely related to traditional methods of serving collards, stewing your vegetable can bring more intense flavors into your collard greens. Braising your collards in any excess juice can do wonders too; simultaneously soaking up extra flavors while adding a gentle smokiness from the process itself. Pairing wise, stewed collards go well with most ingredients you’d use in a traditional southern collard greens recipe, but you can keep it vegetarian by working with onions, garlic, and kale.
Even though it may not be the most health conscious method, there are few cooking methods as instantly rewarding as deep frying. For a unique take on classic fried dishes, consider using collard greens as a stuffing in everything from egg rolls to falafel. If you want to take things even further, you can even used blanched collards as a substitute for pita in falafel wraps!