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Quick-Sautéed Collard Ribbons

Amy Neunsinger

Servings: three.

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.


  • 1 Tbs. malt vinegar
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 lb. collard greens (about 30 leaves)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 small cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 140
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 80
  • Fat (g): 10
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 210
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 4


  • In a small bowl, whisk the malt vinegar and maple syrup.

    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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Reviews (5 reviews)

  • southofboston | 01/17/2019

    enjoy greens and the option of picking up fresh young collards, but hate the result of killing them for three plus hours in bacon fat. This is a terrific alternative that works with lots of meals so long as you can finish this at end. I prep prior and finish that final quick sauté when ready to serve.

  • brava313 | 02/05/2018

    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.

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