Collards & Chorizo

By • September 1, 2011 10 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a simple side dish, that also makes a pretty fine omelet filling. The collard greens are first blanched, then quickly sautéed with garlic and chorizo. The blanching method is from Cook's Illustrated. It helps to minimize the green's natural bitterness without washing out too much flavor. The greens can be blanched ahead and refrigerated so there is minimal work left to finish the final dish and get it on the supper table. The garlic and slightly smoky and spicy chorizo complement the greens without overpowering them. A splash of vinegar adds a little brightness, and rounds out the flavor of the greens. - hardlikearmourhardlikearmour

Food52 Review: I've always been a skeptic about collards because of their bitterness and how long they can take to cook. Hardlikearmour’s recipe has made me a total convert! The cooking method here couldn’t be simpler -- a few minutes of blanching, a water bath, then a quick sauté—and it delivers delicious results. My husband and I particularly liked how the greens were not bitter at all, yet they still had a hearty, robust taste. But what elevated this dish for me was the chorizo, which added crispy bursts of salty flavor. The only change I made was to add a little more olive oil to the pan after the chorizo had browned since my chorizo did not render much fat. This would be a perfect side at a holiday dinner, yet its ease and simplicity makes it ideal for weeknight suppers too. I’ll be making this again very soon. This recipe is a winner! - cookinginvictoria

Serves 4

  • 2 bunches collard greens (about 2 lbs)*
  • 2 teaspoons table or fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 2 small links Spanish chorizo (3.5 to 4 oz)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 & ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a 6 to 8 quart pot.
  2. While the water is heating, remove stems from collard greens. Wash greens in 2 to 3 changes of water, then very coarsely chop.
  3. Once water is boiling, add 1 & ½ teaspoons salt and the collard greens. Stir the greens until they are wilted. Reduce heat to medium, and cover the pot. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until the greens are tender, but still a vibrant green color.
  4. Drain greens in a colander and transfer them to a large bowl of cold water to halt the cooking. Transfer the greens to a salad spinner and spin to remove excess water. Chop the greens into bite-sized pieces. (The greens can covered and stored in the fridge several hours at this point.)
  5. Cut the chorizo in quarters lengthwise, then into rough cubes. Mince or press the garlic cloves.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan (or wipe out the pot you used to cook the greens and use it) over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chorizo and sauté several minutes until pieces have started to brown, and some of the fat is rendered out. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring continuously. Add the collard greens, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Toss the greens well to coat with oil (adding additional olive oil if needed), then cover pan until heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle greens with vinegar and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, or vinegar as desired. Serve immediately.
  8. *If collards are not to be found, you can substitute other "tough" greens like kale, mustard or turnip.

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