Collard Greens, Not Stewed. Yummy.

This method works very well with mustard greens, beet greens, kale, escarole, dandelion greens and taioba alike.
By Suzie Castello

Brazilian collard greens

Brazil is full of secrets: as yet undiscovered plants growing in the Amazon Rainforest holding the cure to any number of diseases, miraculous nail and hair treatments, jeans that look good on anyone and delicious collard greens.  I wish I could shed light on the first three, but up to now, I am only privy to the collard green secret.  This is how the Brazilians make their collard greens yummy.  Oh, and they are ready to eat in about 4 minutes.

This method works very well with a variety of greens.  I have cooked delicious mustard greens, beet greens, kale, escarole, dandelion greens and taioba using this method.

remove the stems from collard greens
remove the stems from collard greens

Choose fresh, bright greens leaves with firm stems.  Wash them well. Remove the thick stems running down the middle of each leaf.

Slicing the collard greens into a chiffonade

Stack the leafs neatly, then roll them into a tight cigar shape, tucking in any loose ends.  Make a clean slice off the end of the cigar and tuck the  raggedly cut ends back into the cigar roll.  Now you’re ready to slice.

Holding the cigar tightly so as not to unravel, slice the leaves as finely as humanly possible.  Do not worry about cutting across the whole thickness of the cigar in one slice.  Your objective is to make a fine stringy mess of bright green threads. Reserve the greens until you are nearly ready to serve them, as they will cook very quickly.

poached egg on collard greens with bacon

Cook the greens by sauteing them in your favorite fat for about a minute.  Most often I saute a little garlic in olive oil first and then throw in the greens to cook for about a minute.  When I can’t deny a hankering for bacon I saute the greens in the residual heat of a panful of browned bacon bits, creating an excellent bed for a poached egg.

Suzie Castello

Suzie Castello is an American writer living and raising a family in a small town in the mountains just outside Rio de Janeiro. She writes about finding ways to cook, with the regional ingredients, dishes that tell her life story, from childhood in the States to travels abroad, and anything new discovered along the way. She is also the Editor of Da Minha Cozinha, a Portuguese-language blog about honest home-cooking.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

5 Comments
  1. Oi Susie, this brings back so many fond memories of my time in Brasil. All the shared meals with my “Brasileira bff’s” and a hauntingly beautiful trip to Minas Gerais was an unforgettable introduction to Comida Mineira. Muito gostoso.

    Could you please tell me what greens would be the closest to Brasilian couve in the US? Obrigada menina!

  2. @Phyl, the best substitute for couve (pictures) that you’ll find in the States are collard greens. Also try mustard greens, because you may have eaten them on your trip to Minas. Lately, the collard greens in my garden have been looking pretty ratty, so I’ve been sauteeing watercress. I don’t even cut it. I just throw it whole into the pan. It is wonderful! Who taught me this trick was my mineira mother-in-law.

Leave a Reply to Phyl Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.