The true Southern way to do collard greens is as follows:
Insert ham hock and things and cook the hell out of ’em.
Nothing wrong with that. But I like my vegetables, greens especially, a little less… slaughtered if I’m making them at home. Collard greens have quite a strong flavor, so the longer they cook, the more mellow they become. So you can still cook these longer if you’re sensitive to their delightful potency.
I wanted to make these a little different, and was rummaging through my pantry and fridge for some sort of umami-esque flavor component that went beyond the salt (my mother uses a chicken bouillon flavoring in hers that’s great)… Something simple, but a tad bit special. And in the back of my fridge was a container of white miso.
Miso and collard greens may not sound like a likely combo, but honestly? It is so lovely. The miso is delicately salty and a little sweet, but most of all, it really does have that extra something that makes you keep coming back for more… that undefinable savory taste that sort of coats your tongue. Miso is a fantastic thing to keep on hand for such things. It lasts forever in the fridge, and is really simple to use. Also it’s incredibly good for you too, (it being a fermented food and all). I prefer the white, as it’s less salty and has fermented for less time, therefore making it a little more mellow and perfect for a variety of uses. I got mine from Whole Foods 😉
So, since we’re in the season of collards, and we’re about to see a whole lot more of these in our gardens and grocery stores… why not play around with them?
I’m certainly happy I did.
WHITE MISO COLLARD GREENS
Rinse and remove stalks from 1 lb. of collard greens. (*note, this is technically ‘1 bunch of collard greens’ found at my grocery store. And after consulting with a close friend/store employee, we both believe the ‘1 bunch’ to equal ‘1 pound’. I am far too headachy and sleepy to research that further, but please comment below if I’m wrong. Thanks for being cool *fist bump*)
Pile the leaves on top of each other and roll them up tightly.
Slice across the width into 1-2 inch (ish) strips.
In a tall, large pot, drizzle a couple teaspoons or so of olive or canola oil.
Add in 2 cloves of garlic, minced (or I like to grate it using a microplane to make it more of a paste).
And 3 tsp white miso paste (I didn’t measure precisely, but just used my cereal spoons 😉 )
Add your chopped collard greens on top and turn the heat up to medium-high.
Let the garlic and miso begin to sauté under the greens, as they begin to wilt down.
After a minute or so, toss everything from the bottom and give the other greens a chance to get to the bottom of the pot and also mix in with the flavors.
Sprinkle in a couple teaspoons of sugar.
Cook until tender.
If you desire them to cook for longer, cover the pot and allow them to steam down to your liking.
Taste to adjust seasoning if necessary, and make sure the miso spread around and didn’t clump onto any leaf.
Serve hot and with hot sauce and/or vinegar if that’s how you roll.
Thanks for reading, y’all. Until next time… xo