You can’t have black-eyed peas without a good mess of collard greens. Especially if you cooking for New Years Day! It’s all about eating your way into good luck for the New Year.
Now I’m going to talk a little sacrilegious about the Southern way of cooking collard greens. The Southern traditionalists love to boil collard greens with fat back, ham hocks or bacon, a little garlic and vinegar for hours. Literally hours.
Some start cooking the collards up to eight hours in advance, others two or three hours.
Sounds delicious right?
Plenty of people will say yes. I’m not one of them
Once done, the collard greens turn a weird yellow-green-brown color and resemble nothing like the gorgeous dark green leaves they started out as. Hubby describes them as resembling a pile of dog poo and tasting just as bad.
I always laugh at him but I don’t have a fondness for the traditional way of cooking them either.
Instead, I saute mine with bacon, garlic, red pepper flakes, vinegar, dark brown sugar and a little lemon juice for 15 to 20 minutes. If I want to speed them up, I blanch the greens for about four minutes before tossing them in for sauteing.
The collards hold their beautiful green and wilt into a mess of beautiful tasty yumminess. It’s all the traditional flavors without overcooking the greens.
For those who want the vegetarian version, leave out the bacon and use a little oil.
I also love that this recipe takes less 30 minutes to cook these greens up, instead of the hours. Paired with my Pressure Cooked Black-Eyed Pea recipe, you can have both dishes ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. The only thing that’ll take longer is baking up the Southern cornbread.
So bring in your New Year right with a mess of Southern Sautéed Collard Greens, Black-Eyed Peas and Cornbread. I can guarantee your New Year will be a little luckier just from having this delicious meal.