Monday, July 20, 2009

Braised Collard Greens with Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Corn

This dish makes an incredibly yummy, almost-vegetarian summer dinner. The greens are a recipe my housemate Josh made last summer with collards from our garden. This time I had to make do with mostly store-bought greens (plus a few from the garden), but it was still delicious! The recipe definitely makes a lot of greens, so adjust the recipe accordingly! Don't worry, though, the leftovers keep well and are delicious the next day. (In fact, these greens are left over from a pulled pork barbecue dinner...shh, don't tell!)

The potatoes and corn are super quick and easy, and complement the greens perfectly. I got fresh corn at the farmer's market and kept it super simple to feature the super-fresh flavors. For the mashed potatoes, I combined half Yukon Golds and half purple potatoes. I thought this might yield pretty lavender mashed potatoes, but instead they turned out slightly gray...but they were still delicious! Be sure to add lots of salt, as that's what makes mashed potatoes extra good in my opinion.

Braised Collard Greens (adapted from Epicurious and Josh)
Serves 8

1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into fourths
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1 T firmly packed muscovado or dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 pounds collard greens, coarse stems and ribs discarded and leaves and thin stems washed well, drained, and chopped coarse
A few glugs of beer

1. In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Add the onions and cook until softened and slightly browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer onions to a bowl.

2. Add the broth, vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and about half of bacon to the pot, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add about half of collards, tossing until wilted slightly, and then add remaining collards, tossing until combined. Simmer the collards, covered, 30 minutes. Add beer as needed to keep everything nice and moist. Stir in onions and simmer, covered, 30 minutes more, or until collards are very tender, adding more beer as needed.

3. Serve the collards topped with the remaining bacon.

Mashed Potatoes: Peel and chop a combination of Yukon Gold and purple potatoes. Cook them in boiling water until very tender. Drain, and then mash with butter, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Sweet Corn: Stand each cob of corn (count on one per person) on end in a bowl. Cut off the kernels. Then heat some olive oil in a skillet until hot. Add the corn, and saute for just a minute or so, until tender and slightly browned. Top with chopped basil.


  1. Collard green is one of my favorite vegetables after swiss chard. So humble, yet so delicious. Your corn dish is very tempting as well.

  2. this reminds me of where i live! i can smell it now...