I grew up with my Southern Bubbie's flavorful slow-stewed collard greens as a regular dish on the Friday night shabbos/Sabbath table, accompanying the roast chicken (gedempte hin) and buckwheat kasha ( with sauteed onions.) And I can tell you there is nothing quite like the aroma of collard greens simmering away on the stove to make a Southern boy smile. Collards are a staple of Southern U.S. cuisine and are typically served as a festive food for the secular New Years, along with black-eyed peas. My family traditionally serves collards (as well as black-eyed peas) on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. They are served as simanim ( symbolic foods of good omens) of wealth in the coming year- collards represent cash and black-eyed peas represent change. Collards are typically prepared in the South by stewing the greens in chicken or beef broth with smoked ham-hocks (we use Aaron's brand smoked turkey leg for our kosher version=KEY SECRET INGREDIENT), marrow bones, onions and garlic, vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes. The stewing liquid is known as 'pot liquor' and should be consumed with the collards and/or reserved for future cooking, as it contains much of the collards nutrients lost (or transferred in this case) during the cooking process. The best way to enjoy the pot liquor is to soak it up with some fresh cornbread. Ain't nothing like BBQ Chicken, Collard Greens, black-eyed peas, and some hot Cornbread.
Cut the collards off the center rib and cut the collards into about 2"-3" pieces. Dispose of the rib.
Pour the chicken stock into a large stew/soup pot, and add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, vinegar, black pepper, sugar, paprika, bbq seasoning, marrow bones, and collards. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer/stew for 2 hours,or until the collards are tender. For the last 30 minutes of cooking- tear the smoked turkey leg and add to the collards.Remove skin and bones before serving.
Salt to taste, and serve with hot sauce. Don't forget the cornbread.
Collard greens are a cold-season green, densely rich in vitamins and minerals. While they are available year round- they are tastiest and most nutritious in the winter months. Collards are an excellent source of antioxidants A, C, and E, as well as manganese- providing the 4 essential antioxidants. Collards are also are an extremely excellent source of vitamin K (FYI: so high in vitamin K that if one is on blood thinners, they should limit their intake), and beta carotene.
Harvesting Collards @ the KSU Hickory Grove Farm