Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Downhome with Collard Greens

Mindy here, and I can honestly say that I never had collard greens while growing up in Michigan. Matter of fact, the only thing we referred to as "greens" was salad. Then I moved to Texas.
Greens are a staple here and my husband loves them. And, believe it or not, I've grown to like them, too.

You can buy them in a bunch, but the bagged variety is much easier. BTW, just the fact that you can find these prewashed and precut in a bag says a lot about their popularity.

Okay, so let's get started by rendering the fat from a couple of cut-up bacon slices.
You know, just using the words "rendering the fat" tells you this recipe is downhome.
Cook the bacon until crisp, but not burned and remove from pan to drain on paper towels.

To the remaining fat (2-3 tablespoons),
add your greens, (since I was only making enough for two, I added about half a bag), some chopped onion and the bacon.
 Now add 1 to 1 1/2 cups water, stir everything together and bring to a boil.
 Cover and reduce heat to low.

Cook 30-45 minutes or until greens are tender.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.
 Hubby likes to sprinkle his with hot-pepper vinegar, but I prefer mine as is.
Between the bacon and the onion...delicious.

Last week was a rather slow one here at the ranch. Not much going on with the renovation since our contractor had to finish up a job elsewhere.
Instead, we were on tropical storm watch as Cindy approached the Texas coast. Fortunately, all we saw were some really cool-looking clouds.
 And I had to share this pic just because.
Near as we could tell, Dixie was staring up at a squirrel. But she laid there like this for the longest time.

Now it's your turn.
Have you ever had greens? If so, are you a fan? If not, would you consider trying them? Or do you cringe at the thought of cooking with bacon grease? 

Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband and the last of her five children. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com 


  1. I LOVE greens! All kinds. And I usually cook them sautéed in olive oil with garlic. I also cook them like you did (if I have bacon on hand) and will sometimes add in a pinch of sugar. :)

    Goodness, now you have me craving them! I happen to have a plastic container of pre-washed spinach right now.

    1. Yes, I forget to mention the sugar! Thanks for the reminder, Missy. You need that little bit of sugar to help counter the bitterness collard and mustard greens sometimes have. Spinach is a different animal, though. It cooks much quicker and I do add garlic to that, but no sugar. Or bacon. Which, if you think about it, really is a shame because bacon makes everything better.

  2. So, nix on the bacon fat :-) I haven't had any collard greens that's for sure but we are very trendy with our greens up here. Lots of 'crunchy granola' types, prewashed and ready to go. Though -- inserting safety tip here -- you still should wash your prewashed greens thoroughly. There's been recalls with the packaged stuff because of nasty bugs like listeria (hope that's right) and e-coli. Yucky.

    The problem with greens and me is that I can't eat them fast enough before they start to go bad. The prepackaged exotic varieties seem to go bad in about two days. So I usually stick with spinach for a salad. Or sauteed with some onion and garlic. And maybe some mushrooms. Yum.

    1. Kav, you didn't even have to say it. I knew you'd nix the bacon grease. I am curious, do they make bacon flavored tofu? Because, really, that bacon flavor is hard to resist.

      You know, sometimes I was the greens, sometimes I don't. I mean, they're boiled. Shouldn't that kill anything unseemly?

      And the mushrooms,,, Oh, I do love my mushies. So what if it's a fungus. Penicillin was derived from mold, so they can't be all bad. Which they aren't. They're are packed with all kinds of good stuff, so I will keep eating them.

    2. According to my dear hubby (who is fanatic about food safety...he has to be because of his job), you should wash any produce - even prewashed - before you eat it because of those nasties like listeria and e-coli.

      But if you cook the greens like in today's recipe, you don't need to wash them again because cooking is a "kill step." Cooking kills the bacteria and the produce is safe to eat. :)

  3. I didn't learn to love greens during our years in Texas, but while we lived in Kentucky I was re-introduced to them, and now I love them. Collard and Mustard greens aren't at the top of the list because of the bitterness, but I do love Swiss Chard, Turnip greens and Spinach. Or a blend - that's actually my favorite. The flavors meld together.

    And bacon makes everything better!

    But I have the same problem as Kav - too many greens, not enough greens eaters. Cooking them rather than saving the whole package for salads helps, because cooking reduces the bulk and I end up eating more.

    1. Jan, my husband gobbles up cooked greens whenever he has the opportunity. It's one of his favorite sides at the barbecue restaurant. Of course, he always adds a few dashes of the vinegar from the hot pepper bottle, just like his father did. And his favorites are the two you least like. Go figure. Funny thing, though. His Texan dad was the one who always closed the greens, not his mother who was from Wyoming. She was a good cook, but evidently she didn't make greens like her MIL. ;)

  4. Do you get impatient with getting things done??? I try not to... but when I can see the finished project in my mind's eye and can't push forward, I get fractious, Mindy!!!!

    I've never tried collard greens. They carry them in a few produce sections, but here in the north they're an expensive specialty item... So I have not tried them. I'm embarrassed to admit that, but one of these days, collard greens and I shall cross paths!!!

    1. Do I get impatient? Ruthy, is the Pope catholic? I especially don't like it when things are idle. But I know the timeline, so I've prepared myself. I used my down time to do some cleaning and organizing at the camphouse. Oh, and I cooked.

      Ruthy, when you come visit us here at the ranch for a future cowboy book, I'll serve you some greens. Deal?

  5. I had never tasted them until my hubby planted them in the garden along with other types of greens. Yum.

    1. Jan, fresh greens are the best. You are a fortunate woman. Do you usually eat them cooked or in a salad?

  6. We have collard greens here, Mindy. The supermarket sells bags of them, but my daughter buys them from the farmer's market. She often steams the leaves and then uses them to make wraps. The whole collard leaf takes the place of the bread/tortilla.

    1. I could see that, Mary Cate. Never thought of it, but I get it. Kind of like a lettuce wrap, but a collard wrap. Hmm...