The South sustains the reputation for serving up rich vegetable dishes that masterfully avoid the label of vegetarian. Pork is usually the culprit. Whether it be a hambone in a pot of greens, bacon on top of a green bean casserole, or lard in a salad (I am sure it is a thing…) it is rare to order at a BBQ place or attend a family gathering that actually features vegetarian vegetables.
I state that simply as a matter of fact and without an ounce of resentment or disdain. As someone who grew up eating meat and only stopped after leaving the nest for college, I totally understand.
It tastes good.
That said, removing the presence of a hambone or lard from vegetable dishes and allowing them to soar in their pure vegetarian form will also yield something incredibly clean, savory, and delicious.
After making a slightly smaller version of this recipe to share with friends and family on New Year’s Eve, my mom insisted on the recipe and instructions. Since she is the one who taught me the basics of cookie baking, and went through that whole giving birth thing, I felt like it was only reasonable to comply.
The following makes enough collard greens to split with my mama and have enough to share with the Bearded One throughout the week.
4, 16 oz. Packages of Collard Greens (or about 4 lbs.)
1 Large Vidalia Onion, Diced
3 – 5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Quart of Vegetable Broth
Salt & Pepper
- Scoop about 3 Tbs. of coconut oil into a giant pot and set it to medium-high heat
- Toss in the onions and saute til they have just a tinge of gold on the edges
- Add the garlic and allow to cook for a minute or two
- Add half of the collard greens, stirring to combine completely with the onions and garlic
- Sprinkle with a couple teaspoons of smoked paprika and about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper (it does not have to be exact).
- Pour in about half of the veggie broth and stir
- Lower to medium heat and cover with a lid to allow the greens to cook down for a few minutes
- Add the remaining greens and repeat the seasoning steps before combining with the cooked greens
- Pour in the rest of the veggie broth and stir – It is a bit of an arm workout to work the cooked greens from the bottom to the top of the uncooked greens. You could also go the route of removing the cooked greens, adding the uncooked greens and then putting the cooked ones on top, but that sounds like less fun to me.
- I like to add more liquid with this amount of greens, so using the little veggie broth carton I put filtered water from the sink inside, shake it up and use an additional cup or two to make sure the greens have enough steaminess to soak up.
- Once everything is well combined, lower the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid
- I would let it go for about 20 or 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and seasoning to taste
When making this batch, my mom and I took Judeau for a jaunt while the greens simmered and when we came back they were ready to enjoy. Leftovers are content in a sealed container in the fridge to be enjoyed whenever your heart desires!