Collards are part of the cruciferous vegetable family. This also includes bok choy, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, rutabaga, and turnips. Cruciferous vegetables are high in nutrients and low in calories.
Health Benefits of Collards: Health benefits of Collard greens Wonderfully nutritious collard leaves are very low in calories (provide only 30 cal per 100 g) and contain no cholesterol. However, these greeny leaves contain very good amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre that helps control LDL cholesterol levels and also; offers protection against hemorrhoids, constipation as well as colon cancer diseases.
Pasta With Collard Greens and Onions
1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and washed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, preferably a red onion, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced across the grain
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes(optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1/2 head green garlic, stalks and papery shells removed, sliced
Freshly ground pepper
8 to 12 ounces pasta, any shape
½ cup cooking water from the pasta
1 to 2 ounces Parmesan (to taste)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the collard greens. Blanch for 2 minutes, then using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer to a bowl of cold water and drain. Squeeze out excess water and cut crosswise into thin ribbons.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large lidded frying pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt, the red pepper flakes and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute, and add the collard greens and salt and pepper to taste. When the greens begin to sizzle, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and continue to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the greens are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Bring the water in the pot back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the timing instructions on the package.
Before draining the pasta, ladle 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pot into the frying pan with the collard greens and onions. Drain the pasta and toss with the greens. Serve, topping each serving with Parmesan to taste.
Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collard Greens and Sausage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup peeled and sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 (14-ounce) package smoked sausage, sliced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
4 cups chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 cups tightly packed chopped collard greens, tough stems removed
1 (15.5-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
In a dutch oven or large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage slices, onions, carrots and celery and cook for approximately 7-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and thyme and stir to combine.
Add chicken broth and tomatoes with juice. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add chopped collards and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until collard greens are tender. Stir in rinsed black-eyes peas, season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
ORZO WITH COLLARD GREENS, SAUSAGE MEATBALLS AND SUNDRIED TOMATOES
* 3 hot (or mild, sissy) Italian sausage links, casings removed
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 bunch collard greens, thinly sliced into ribbons
* 6-7 sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
* 1/3 cup chicken stock
* juice from half a lemon
* 2 Tbs. butter
* 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
* 1 cup orzo
* pinch of salt
Pinch little pieces of the sausage and roll them into 1-inch balls. Brown them in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Set aside.
Back in the skillet, add the oil, garlic, collard ribbons and sundried tomato slivers. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and let it bubble for just a sec. Add the sausage and lemon juice. Toss toss.
In the meantime, boil the orzo in a pot of salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, and transfer the rest of the pasta into the skillet. Off the heat, add the butter and cheese. Toss it all together until melted and coated.