Recipe video by Vic Chin
Even though kale still seems to be holding the spotlight in a decade-long love affair, when it comes to sautéed greens, I’m partial to collard greens. Likely because I grew up with them in Texas (plus my father hailed from West Virginia and Georgia, so southern food runs through my veins), where collard greens are staple of Southern soul food.
Sturdy, slightly bitter collard greens hold up beautifully to long, slow cooking but can also be used raw in salads, much like kale. In America, they are most widely revered in Southern soul food where they are traditionally stewed with a smoked ham hock or bacon and vinegar. There are loads of great recipes out there, and many also include onions, garlic, and chicken stock. Collard greens have a long history: they were a staple of the Native American diet, an essential
part of Southern American soul food, and are widely used in cultures around the world, including Ethiopia, India, Brazil, and Portugal (to name a few).
Not only do they have a rich history, they are highly nourishing and full of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as calcium, iron, and fiber.
In this twist on a classic, I’ve paired the greens with spicy, paprika-laden Spanish chorizo, sweet caramelized onions, and a splash of sherry vinegar. This flavorful combination would also work well with kale or chard, just adjust the cooking times as needed and according to taste.
Recipe: Collard Greens with Chorizo and Caramelized Onions
Makes about 6 servings
- 1 lb collard greens (about 1 large bunch), tough stems removed
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 lb Spanish chorizo, halved or quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, or to taste
- Strip the leaves away from the tough stems of the greens and discard the stems. Roughly chop the leaves, transfer to a colander, and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Drain but leave the water clinging to the leaves.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until they start to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the chorizo, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Drain off all but 1 tbsp fat.
- Add the caramelized onions and greens to the pan with the chorizo and stir well to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and add the sherry vinegar. Cover and cook until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes longer. If the greens look dry, add a few tablespoons of water. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if needed. Serve at once.