Okay y’all, it’s fresh food month! But wait, it’s cold outside and you want something not only healthy, but also comforting and warm… collard greens to the rescue!
As a vegetarian I spent most of my life not eating Southern style collard greens. They looked tasty but always seemed to involve sneaky pork bits and meat juices. A few years ago I was at a the Grand Lake farmers market and happened to sample some food at a booth called Souley Vegan which sort of changed of my life. These people were rockin’ crispy tofu, black eyed peas, collard greens, fried okra, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, and BBQ tofu, the likes of which I had never imagined. Suddenly, Southern food was something that I could eat too!
Knowing that I could not eat at the booth every time I craved some Southern style veggie goodness, I decided to learn how to make some of those dishes myself. Over the years I’ve developed pretty good recipes for vegan mac, corn bread, and BBQ tofu, but these collards are probably the thing that I make most often. That’s because they are 1) deliciously simple and 2) the healthiest item on the list. Give them a shot and welcome a little Southern hospitality to your dinner plate.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ shallot, chopped
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound collard greens, chopped
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 can of drained chopped tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes seeded and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil.
- Saute the shallot until slightly softened, about 2 minutes, then add the red pepper flakes and garlic, cook another minute.
- Add collard greens and cook another minute.
- Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a simmer.
- Cook until greens are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Oh and by the way, Souley Vegan ended up getting a permanent restaurant location in Oakland at Jack London Square. If you are a veggie in the neighborhood, it is a definitely worth a visit.