On the menu tonight: Smoky Sauteed Collard Greens and Spiced, Smashed Sweet Potatoes.
Ultimately, it's a meeting between classic comfort foods and the genius authors of Veganomicon.
Bonus: You'll have plenty of room for dessert :)
I tried collard greens for the first time this summer, during our vacation in Asheville, NC. Tupelo Honey Cafe--a delightful little restaurant that specializes in southern cooking with local, organic ingredients--offered a three veggie entree, featuring sauteed collards. Never being one to shy away from a food I have yet to taste, I tried their collard greens and I was thrilled with the result.
It's been over a month since our travels, and I finally located a collard recipe that best mirrors my Tupelo Honey experience. The key ingredient? Liquid smoke. I was skeptical at first, most likely because I found it in the grocery store sandwiched between the hot sauces and steak sauces (need I say more?). But, one recipe of smoky sauteed collards later, and I now call myself a believer.
A quick note of the flavor of collards: Make sure you cook them down in the marinade long enough--they can have a bit of a bitter flavor prior to the cook-down. I'm sure the non-vegetarian version, which employs bacon fat as the key ingredient, boasts a bacon-y delicious flavor that masks any bitterness the greens might hold. Ah, well. Maybe in another lifetime.
As previously noted, we served our smoky collards with simple mashed sweet potatoes--recipe also courtesy of Veganomicon. Although I'm not a vegan, this cookbook alone could easily convert me. The authors (who also wrote my favorite vegan cookie cookbook) make vegan cooking easy and delicious. No hard-to-find ingredients, no soy "cheeses," and most recipes are short and simple. Love it!
So, liquid smoke in hand, and armed with a bundle of fresh collards, let's get to cooking this classic comfort dish...veganized of course :)
Smoky Sauteed Collard Greens
(A recipe from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, by Isa Chandra, Maskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)
We enjoyed these hearty, flavorful greens with mashed sweet potatoes. And a Rocky Road cookie for dessert :)
- 1 lb. collard greens, thinly chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 TBSP olive oil
Smoky Marinade Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup veggie broth (or chicken if you're not a veg-head)
- 2 TBSP reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBSP liquid smoke
- 1 TBSP maple syrup
1) Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
2) In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add chopped collard greens and cook for 2 minutes. Add marinade and cook on low-medium heat until collards are tender and cooked --about 15 minutes.