How's this for a crisper confession? If I hadn't cooked this vegetable myself, I don't think I could have identified it. At least not right away. If you're used to collard greens braised to the point of near-extinction (and believe me, I like them that way, too, so no hard feelings), you'll be surprised by what else they can do.
These thin ribbons of collard greens are cooked in bacon fat ever so briefly, until they've just turned bright green and begun to wilt noticeably. We're talking one minute or a smidge more. Have you ever heard of such a thing?
The result is a breath of fresh air. The slight bitterness of the crisp-tender greens threatens to melt into the depths of bacony goodness, only to be revived by the bright tang of lemon.
With only about fifteen minutes prep from start to finish, Collard Greens Miniera has become an instant classic at our house. Hope you'll love it, too.
Adapted from Gourmet, January, 2001.
- 1 bunch collard greens (about 1 pound)
- 3 slices center-cut bacon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash collard greens. Carefully strip or cut leaves from stems and discard stems. Stack leaves one on top of the next. Roll leaves from stem end to tip into a cigar shape. Cut cigar crosswise into strips 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick (as you would to chiffonade herbs, but thicker).
Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch batons. Place a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally. Add collard greens to pan and cook, stirring constantly until just wilted and bright green, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.