Collard Greens

3 Sep

We’re going Brazilian for Labor Day…barbecue, that is. You may know that my husband is from Rio de Janiero, where meat is king and starch is its royal court. Every few weeks, we throw some rock salt on a tri tip and grill it to succulent perfection. Nothing beats that salty, charred crust, which we serve up with white rice, black beans, farofa and molho Brasieiro, a salsa-like tomato topping.

But I’m a veggie girl who needs to have a good dose of greens in every meal, so I always serve up a traditional churrasco side dish of sauteed collard greens, which you might find in your farm box late winter through late summer. You can include these on any barbecue menu, they add a lively, bitter crunch to whatever you throw on the grill.

Brazilian Collard Greens (Couve a Mineira)

Serves 4-6

1 1/4 pound collard greens, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves halved lengthwise

3 garlic cloves, cut into thin slices

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Cutting these collard greens into micro-thin slices helps them cook quickly and taste fresh and bright.

Stack half of collard leaves and roll into a cigar shape. Cut crosswise into very thin strips (1/16 inch wide). Repeat with remainder.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, 30 seconds. Add collards with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt and cook, tossing, until just tender and bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adjust if neccesary, and serve.

 
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