The best presents are the unexpected ones. On my afternoon walk I stopped at a neighbor's impromptu vegetable stand. When the mood strikes and he has produce to give away, he puts out a little table, a little box for donations, and whatever his garden offers up that day. I chose 2 bunches of collard greens - just picked and beautiful. Then, another neighbor stopped by to return some emptied jam jars, and to gift me with some Vermont cured bacon, and we sat down to 2 versions of this dish. The vegetarian version is slightly sweeter and does not have the smoky taste so characteristic of a dish with bacon, but still lovely nonetheless. —Bevi
6 for a side dish
collard greens, washed, dried, deveined, and chopped coarsely to make 3 tightly packed cups
If you are making the vegetarian version, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized saute pan. Add the chopped garlic and saute until the garlic is lightly browned.
Add the grapes, and saute for about a minute. Then, use a potato masher to squash the grapes slightly to release some of the sweet juices.
Add the walnuts, and a little salt. Pour in the lemon juice and allow to cook softly for another minute.
Add the collards, and use tongs to toss the collards for even cooking. Allow to cook, tossing constantly, until the greens are soft and the ingredients are well blended - about 3 minutes. Salt to taste. Add the butter to silken up the greens.
NB - For the bacon version, fry the bacon in the saute pan until crisp. Remove the bacon and break into coarse bits. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan, and proceed with the recipe - starting with sauteing the garlic. Do not add butter at the end of cooking.