Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Stir-Fried Collard Greens

One of the first locally owned family farms I became acquainted with is Willard Farms in Gable, South Carolina. They used to have some of the best sweet strawberries during the season, and also offered a wonderful CSA (community supported agriculture) program we participated in many years ago.  (unfortunately, this farm is now closed).

Over the years, Jay Willard and I became friends, and have often "agreed to disagree" on the subject of organic versus conventional farming, so you can imagine my surprise when he let me know he got a portion of his land "CERTIFIED ORGANIC" in 2015! I was so excited I could hardly stand it. 

For the months following, I have been patiently (well maybe not so patiently) waiting for his first crops to be ready, and FINALLY he called me and told me about his Organic Collards. Oh yes, I could NOT wait to see them and try them. I called my best foodie friend forever, Lynn, at Southern with a Twist and off we went to Willard Farms to see them for ourselves. 

 Organic Collard plants at Willard Farms - photo by Southern with a Twist

Organic Collards plant at Willard Farms - photo by Southern with a Twist

Organic collard greens! They are fantastically delicious. Not bitter, but almost rather sweet. I had heard an interesting way to prepare them from my friend, Russell, at Sunny Cedars Farm, so I decided to try stir frying the collards ... wow am I ever glad I listened! These are excellent and don't take very long at all to prepare.

The overall taste test verdict? They are awesome, and my husband even tried them and he doesn't like collard greens! Then my friend stopped by, and she tried them and liked them so much I gave her some to take home! That is success!!!

So here's what I did!

First I stemmed and roughly chopped all the collard greens.

Then I cut up a small package of  brown sugar and salt cured bacon from another local farm and fried it until crisp. I removed it from the pan with a slotted spoon and let it drain on paper towels while I cooked the collard greens.

Lastly I stir fried the collard greens in 2 tbsp. of the bacon grease in a large frying pan covered with a lid, and once done, tossed them with the cooked bacon pieces.

1 bunch collard greens, rinsed in cold water, stemmed and roughly chopped
4 strips bacon, cut into pieces
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans

Stem and roughly chop one bunch organic collard greens; set aside. Cut bacon into pieces and fry until crispy in an electric frying pan with lid, or other deep dish frying pan with lid. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on some paper towels. Reserve 2 tbls. of the bacon grease and discard the rest.

Add chopped organic collard greens to hot bacon grease; sprinkle with pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cover with lid and let cook about 2-3 minutes or until beginning to wilt. Remove lid, stir fry greens about 5 more minutes or until tender.

Add cooked bacon pieces back to fry pan with the collard greens and toss to mix well. Serve with toasted, chopped pecans.


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