Couve a Mineira: Brazilian-Style Collard Greens

May 3, 2012

Author Notes: This is my version of the yummy side dish I first tried in Brazil at 19. My sister was there studying abroad, and her friend Thais' family prepared a huge feast for thier New Year's Eve party, which we attended in our obligatory white dresses. It was December 31, 1999!

What I remember most were the side dishes: vinagrete & maiyonese because their names were the cutest. Vinagrete (Vee-nah-gretch-eee): the Brazilian version of pico de gallo, halfway between salad and condiment. Maiyonese (may-yo-nay-zeee), an extra creamy potato salad, but with the potatoes cut into tiny cubes (instead of big chunks, like we do in the states). And you could not eat anything without Farofa (toasted cassava flour) sprinkled on top.

Couve was delicious but mysterious to me. I imagined it was some exotic tropical green you could never get in the States until I went out to eat with my sister when she visited me from the West Coast a few months ago. Of course, she requested a Brazilian restaurant. I saw collard greens on the menu and of course ordered that. When it arrived at the table everything clicked! These were the magical greens I'd tried years before!

This is my version.

Serves: 2


  • 1 bunch collard greens, shredded*
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons beer (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 lime
  • sea salt, to taste
In This Recipe


  1. *the easiest way to chop the greens is to stack the leaves, roll them tightly like a cigar, and chop the cylinder into thin shreds.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add oil and saute garlic with a pinch of salt until golden.
  3. Add greens and toss to coat in oil. Pour in beer, add paprika & salt to taste, and continue to toss greens, while allowing alcohol to cook off. They will cook quickly, and should still be tender when you remove them from pan.
  4. Divide between plates and squeeze lime juice over before serving.

More Great Recipes:
Brazilian|Beer|Collard Greens|Paprika|Vegetable|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Fall|Spring|Summer|Vegetarian|Vegan|Gluten-Free

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Matt October 30, 2018
Awesome, missing link! Since my vacation there I order Farofa and Brazilian coffees like Caboclo and Pilão and now your recipe has added to round out the missing link in the rice and beans,and Farofa staple meal. I have used white wine and veggie broth/stock in place of beer and both work well. I learned NOT to add lime until greens are off heat! Thank you!
Darci L. March 7, 2018
Wow, thank you so much for this recipe! I had no idea what to do with collards -- I only knew I didn't want to stew them for hours and hours, like seemingly all the collards recipes online instructed. This recipe was so perfect - fast, light, fresh, bright. Definitely gonna use this one over and over.
Megan L. April 5, 2017
This is, without a doubt, one of the best recipes I've ever tried for preparing collards. It's savory and garlicky and wonderfully fast. Do yourself a favor and try it! (do add the beer)
Matthew October 15, 2015
Glad I found this! I had a similar experience where at the time I first tried them, I didn't realize they were collards. Side note-I was around 21 that same day, and spent it in Rio! Went from Ipanema to Copacabana beaches and later, a party on the Lagoa. What city were you in?
Jill P. November 11, 2012
This would work with our Thanksgiving menu but we're having 15 at table... I need help converting to such a large number. The other option is "Mom Would Be So Proud Collard Greens" which is also written to serve 2. How do I adjust from 2 to 15? Is this possible? Thanks!