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Thread: How long to cook collard greens?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Baja Manitoba

    Question How long to cook collard greens?

    I'm planning to make a vegetable beef soup for DH that I found on the Atkins website - it calls for escarole, which I couldn't find at the local supermarket. They had lots of other greens, though, so I chose (more or less randomly) a bunch of collard greens. My question is: will I need to cook the collard greens longer than the escarole? Not having cooked with either one , I just have no idea. Here's the recipe, BTW:

    Beef Vegetable Soup
    Wendy Kalen

    Make double the recipe and freeze in small ziplock bags for a quick and nutritious lunch or dinner. Antioxidant-rich escarole adds flavor and texture to this hearty main-course soup.

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
    1 portabello mushroom, diced
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
    3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
    1/2 cup red wine
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 1/2 pounds stew meat, trimmed and cut into dice
    1 small onion, diced
    2 garlic cloves, pushed through a press
    1 small carrot, diced
    1 celery stalk, diced
    1 cup canned diced tomatoes
    2 cans (14.5 ounces each) beef broth, plus 2 cans water
    1 bunch escarole, washed, tough ribs trimmed, cut into 1/2" strips

    1.In large non-stick skillet melt butter over medium-high heat; add thyme and mushrooms; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 10 minutes or until almost dry. Add wine; cook 3 minutes until syrupy.
    2.Meanwhile, toss meat with remaining teaspoon salt and teaspoon pepper. In large pot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil; add onion and garlic. Cook 3 to 5 minutes until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Raise heat to high; add stew meat. Cook 10 minutes until browned. Add carrots, celery tomatoes, broth and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes; add escarole and skillet mixture. Simmer 10 minutes until escarole is cooked.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Marietta, Ga
    I don't think you need to cook them any longer than the escarole.

    I've recently tried some greens, but I still dislike collards. Anyways, there are two ways to cook them. You can either cook them for a very short time, just to wilt them.

    Or, cook them for 3+hours until they are a disgusting, stinky, stringy mess. I used to hate when my mom made turnip or collard greens. Made the whole house stink.

    Collard greens are very bitter, I don't think they would be a good sub for escarole, but then again I don't like them so my opinion is rather biased.

    Here's what says about Escarole:

    escarole = Batavian endive = Batavia = scarole Notes: Escarole has sturdy leaves and a slightly bitter flavor. Young escarole leaves are tender enough to add to salads, otherwise escarole is best cooked as a side dish or used in soups. Substitutes: curly endive (stronger flavor, different flavor) OR radicchio OR borage OR mustard greens OR arugula OR spinach

    And here's what they say about collards:

    collard greens = collards Notes: This is a favorite of Southern cooks, who often cook them with salt pork or smoked ham hocks. Frozen collards are an acceptable substitute for fresh. Substitutes: kale (crinkled leaves) OR kohlrabi leaves OR bok choy (milder flavor) OR turnip greens OR mustard greens (spicier flavor)

    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Columbus, OH, USA
    I usually cook collards for about a half-hour, after stripping out the tough central stem and slicing the leaves horizontally into 2" strips. But if you slice them into thinner strips, you could probably have them done in about 15-20 minutes. Just make sure there's lots of liquid.

    Escarole, being a softer leaf with almost imperceptible veins, cooks faster than collards, although when I saute escarole, I usually figure on almost as long, since I'm cooking it with very little moisture.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Arlington, WA
    I like collards but usually remove the stalk, pile the leaves, roll them, and then slice thinly. I saute in a bit of olive oil and hot pepper flakes. I cook them maybe 5 minutes. I think escarole is less fibrous and probably less bitter than collards. escarold is closer to lettuce in texture & cooks in soup very quickly. I think collards will take a bit longer to cook but if you roll them tightly and slice thinly into 1/4-1/8 inch strips they will go faster. I take a pile of half leaves and roll tightly into a cigar shape & then slice thin. slice crosswise if they seem too long.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    I probably cook collards for an hour or more, usually with some sort of pork for flavoring. I have also had good results with using ham flavor "better than bouillon".

    I like to remove the stems, too, and then I slice them into smaller pieces.

    I personally prefer turnips, but I bet we have collards 1-2 times a month.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Baja Manitoba
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I wimped out on using the collard greens in this recipe and got swiss chard instead . The recipe was quite good (DH loved it!) - the broth was especially nice, but I wasn't crazy about the stew beef I used - would probably use top sirloin next time instead. Anyway, now I've got a bunch of collard greens to use up - does anyone have any other good ideas for a novice collard greens cook?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Columbus, Ohio

    Talking caldo verde to the rescue!

    i lived in portugal, so i am little more into portuguese cooking than most normal people-- but this is a very well-known portuguese soup (some consider it the national dish of portugal) that i highly recommend. it is especially good on cold days when you need something comforting. personally, i prefer little cubes of potatoes instead of the slices, and i'd cut the oil down to 2 T (the sausage will give off fat, but not much if you get a low-fat variety)

    anyway... enjoy
    or another version:

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