It is unfortunate that a “mess of collard greens” remains a dish as yet unappreciated outside of the South. In the traditional Southern home, boiled greens are eaten weekly. Collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, kale, Swiss chard, and other greens are carefully cleaned, chopped into bite-size pieces, and cooked with some salt pork or bacon fat for flavor. With a mess of cooked collard greens, served with a hoecake of cornbread, chased down with a good bottle of red wine, who would ask for anything more.
1-1/2 pounds collards, stalks removed
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 ham hock or piece of salt pork
4 medium white potatoes, pealed
1. Wash collard leaves thoroughly in cold water. Break into bite-size pieces
2. In a 3-quart saucepan, place water and pepper and bring to a boil.
3. Add ham hock or salt pork, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Add collard leaves and continue to simmer, cover set slightly ajar, for 30 minutes.
5. Add potatoes and simmer, cover slightly ajar, for 30 minutes more, or until liquid is almost completely reduced.
6. Spoon into a shallow serving dish; serve hot.
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