Little Z chose Collard Greens one week as the "1 Bunch Greens" portion of our CSA share. Ugh. I didn't want a Southern-style version, based on nothing more than a gut-feeling. I was intrigued by this recipe that sounded different. But it looked like a lot of hassle, and several ingredients I wasn't interested in. So I used it as an inspirational springboard and made my own recipe.
Curried Collard Greens
Prep time: 10 minutes.
*depending on whether the older child left you any of her bento, and how much baby food you were able to scrape out of the bottom of the jar for your own lunch that day. Really, this only served 3 of me, but I had seconds both times I ate this as my meal, then shared the last helping with Hubby. Buuuurp!Ingredients:
1/2 lb collard greens
1 Tbsp water
1 c uncooked brown rice
1 cup water plus water per rice directions (mine called for 2.5 cups water for one cup of rice, so 3.5 cups water total)
1 can beans, rinsed and drained - black, white, red, or garbanzo (you could use the bean water and add that much less regular water, but it contains a lot of the extra sodium added to the beans, so I dump mine out.)
1 bulb green garlic, minced or 3-4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 onion, diced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
Optional - juice from 1/2 lemon or lime (or roughly 1 Tbsp juice)
Step 1: Remove stems by cutting in a V along the stem up each leaf. Chop leaves into desired sized pieces.
You can just cut into strips then crosscut those a few times, or whatever-size pieces you'd be willing to eat. I don't like wet leaves flopping off my fork and slapping me in the face, so I went small.
Step 2: In microwave-safe dish, add collard greens plus 1 Tbsp water. Cover and microwave on High for 5 minutes. [Start steps 3 and 4 while cooking.] Set aside.
Step 4: Bring water to a boil. Add rice first, then the beans, onion, garlic, and cooked collard greens. (Squeeze in juice from 1/2 a lemon or lime to help tone down the greens taste, if desired.) Turn to Low (2-3,) cover, and let simmer for 35 minutes.
This dish was so simple to make, even I thought it was easy! And usually for me, boiling water is kind of a hassle.
I wish I'd gone with my gut and tossed the greens in the food processor first. I'm not a fan of the texture of wet cooked greens. They tasted fine; in fact, we loved the flavor of the dish overall. We gobbled it all down over two days. (Well, okay. It was mostly me. Hubby stayed out late the night I made it, and then I ate more for lunch the next day. I saved him some to try when he got home, and he ended up splitting that with me as well! Sucker!) But I wasn't a fan of how the moist hunks of slimy leaf felt in my mouth.
Feel free to add more seasonings, to taste. I felt it could have used some more curry powder, and I added salt to mine, but Hubby thought it tasted just fine as-is.
This was also somewhat tasty at room temperature. The texture of the leaves was the only thing ruining that for me. And since I was home alone with both kids for the most part when I was eating this, I pretty much only got to try a few bites of it hot each time, before it hit room temp.
This also pureed up nicely for the baby. I added a little extra water and tossed a few ounces in the food processor. She LOVED it! We sat on the floor (well, I sat on the floor and she sat in her baby rocker) eating/being fed our Curried Collard Greens together!
If you don't like using a microwave, you can use a steamer or stew the greens on the stovetop for a while first. Or this could easily be adapted to a slow-cooker by just mixing the seasonings in with the water first, then adding in the rice and everything else after (no need to pre-cook the greens,) and cooking on Low for 4-6 hours or High for 2-3.
You can also choose to use the water in with the canned beans, and leave out that amount of regular water, but much of the sodium in the canned beans is stored in the water, so I like to rinse it out, even if it means I'm losing some of the nutrients. Soaking dried beans overnight the night before solves this problem, and you can save that water to use!
The beans and rice together give this a complete protein, but this would still be yummy with chicken instead of beans, and potatoes instead of rice.
A can or two of coconut milk instead of a cup (or two) of water would add some depth and creaminess to the flavor as well, and enhance the curry flavor.
And feel free to saute the onion and garlic first to do whatever that does to enrich the flavor. I'm far too lazy. And ugh. More dishes to wash!