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Cooking Sample - Collard Greens Kissed with Cranberries

 
Collard greens are an amazing dark leafy green to get into your rotation.  They pack a serious nutrient punch and are loaded with vitamin K and calcium (220 mg per cup).  This recipe is a huge hit - both adults and kids love it - and the delicious flavors and beautiful colors make it a great dish to serve to guests.
 
The trick is to slice the greens into ribbons and precook them to soften and reduce their bitterness, before you sauté them with the olive oil, garlic and dried cranberries.  The cranberries are essential as they provide the sweet note which balances out the dish. 
 
Makes about  2 cups (depends on the size of your bunch of Collards)
 
Step 1 - Precook collard green ribbons (12 min)
1 bunch of Collard Greens
2 cups water (or 2-3 inches of water)
Large pot with cover
  • Bring the water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the Collards.  Remove the stems. Use one hand to hold the stalk of an individual leaf, rib side up. Use the other hand to strip the leaf off the stalk with one quick motion. Discard the stalks.
  • Place leaves on top of each other.  Roll like a cigar and cut into 1/8 inch slices (create ribbons).  Set aside.
  • When water is boiling, add Collard ribbons, cover and cook over high heat for 5-8 minutes.  Collards should be bright green (do not overcook).  Taste - they should feel springy and light in your mouth.
  • Remove Collards from pot with slotted spoon and cool in a large bowl of cold water (stops the cooking).  
  • Strain and remove all water - use your hand to push them into the side of the strainer (it's important that you remove all the water - as they will be sautéed in hot oil).

Note - you can do this step up to a day in advance.  Store them in a covered container in your refrigerator (add a dry paper towel to the bottom to help absorb moisture).  

Step 2 - Flavor and serve (5 min)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
Freshly squeezed real lemon juice (to taste)
Sea salt and fresh black pepper (to taste)
  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick fry pan over medium high heat.  Sauté garlic until light brown in color (2 minutes).  Remove garlic before it gets brown and place on a dish.  
  • Add dried cranberries to pan and sauté until they plump up.  
  • Add greens and cooked garlic, and a pinch of salt (and toasted pine nuts).  Add a splash of fresh lemon juice to finish. Note - be sure and use a real lemon (yes, it really makes a difference)

Video: Collard green ribbons kissed with garlic and dried cranberries

Check out this delicious and festive dish. It's perfectly flavor balanced and delights kids and adults with the flavors and pop of colors.

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