Collard greens, due to their strong association with Southern fare, often get overlooked when it comes to selecting greens for cooking.
But like kale, spinach or chard, collards can be sauteed or steamed and stirred into any recipe that calls for greens.
They are flavorful, but can be tough sometimes, particularly when they are old. That’s why plenty of cooks are used to slow-cooking them for an hour or more with ham hocks or bacon to tenderize them.
The collard greens in our CSA box this week were young and tender, which made them just right for this recipe by cookbook author Martha Rose Shulman, appearing in the New York Times.
Remember to remove the stems before cooking collards.
— Lisa Abraham
BREAKFAST TACOS WITH EGGS, ONIONS AND COLLARD GREENS
6 oz. (about ½ bunch) collard greens, stemmed and washed
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small or ½ medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chili, minced (optional)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
6 corn tortillas
Crumbled queso fresco (optional)
Green or red salsa (optional)
Bring an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer (or a pasta pot with an insert). Place the collard greens in the top part of the steamer, and steam until the leaves are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the steamer, rinse with cold water, squeeze out extra water and chop medium-fine.
Wrap the tortillas in a heavy kitchen towel and place in the steamer basket. Cover tightly, steam 1 minute, and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, without uncovering, while you finish preparing the filling.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it is tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic and optional chili. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, and stir in the collard greens. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring often, for another 5 minutes, until the greens are tender and the onion is lightly colored.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cilantro. Add to the pan with the collards and onions and cook, stirring, until set. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Spoon onto hot tortillas, sprinkle with cheese if using, and serve, passing the salsa on the side.
Makes 6 tacos.
Find previous installments of This Week’s Harvest and a list of local farmers markets at http://www.ohio.com/lifestyle/food.