The trick to quick-cooking collards (which are typically braised slowly for tenderness)is cutting them into very thin slices. All these need is a quick spin in a hot pan with olive oil to give them a delicate texture and a deep,toasty flavor. This whole recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare.
Trim the stem from each collard leaf with a sharp knife, dividing the leaf completely in half lengthwise as you cut away the stem. Discard the stems; wash and dry the leaves.
Stack half of the leaves and roll them up tightly crosswise into a cigar shape. Using a very sharp knife, cut the collard “cigar” crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Use your fingers to unfurl the slices, which will be tightly curled together. Repeat with the second half of the leaves.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and the garlic over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring and flipping the garlic, until it’s fragrant and just lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic. Add the pepper flakes, stirring to distribute in the hot oil, and immediately add the collards and 1/2 tsp. salt. Using tongs, stir and toss the collards until they’re coated with the oil, and continue tossing until they are slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Most of the greens will have turned a bright green, with some beginning to turn a darker green. Do not overcook, as they will become tough. Take the pan off the heat, drizzle on the maple-vinegar mixture, stir well, and transfer to a shallow serving platter. Serve immediately.
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The recipe warns against overcooking, lest the greens become tough, but they're already tough when raw. I cooked them just until slightly wilted, and they were still tough. My husband complained that the long ribbons made this food awkward to eat, with the ribbons dangling down.
Great way to quickly cook collard greens and a wonderful accompaniment to a variety of dishes. I've made this about 5 times in the last 5 weeks!
quick and delicious! I substituted chile piquin jelly for maple syrup. It proved a great combination.
Loved this recipe. Nice and fresh.
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