Collard Greens

Collards with Pot Likker, Cornbread Dumplings & Green Tomato Chowchow

December  2, 2021
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Photo by Oriana Koren
Author Notes

My great-grandmother James’s hands were in everything, from putting seeds in the soil to bringing the plates to the table. When it came to collard greens, she would say, “Triple wash your greens, then read the greens. The greens will tell you everything you need to know about how the world is doing. Look at the sand and dirt from the greens; it
can tell you how farmers cared for them. The damage and insects found in collards tell you about the health of the farm and the soil and how often they were tended to. The color and hardiness of the collards informs you how the greens were cared for.” She always reminded us that we have to care just as much about the farm and farmers as
we do about the ingredients. —Adrian Lipscombe

Test Kitchen Notes

Reprinted with permission from BLACK FOOD: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora edited by Bryant Terry, copyright © 2021. Published by 4 Color Books, an imprint of Ten Speed Press and Penguin Random House. Photographs copyright © 2021 Oriana Koren. —The Editors

  • Prep time 4 hours 35 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Ingredients
  • Collards With Pot Likker
  • 2 pounds collard greens, tough stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 unpeeled large onion, chopped in half
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 -inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pound smoked turkey wing (about 1 wing)
  • 10 cups water or enough water to submerge collard greens
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black caraway seeds, or nigella seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Cornbread Dumplings
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1//2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup 1⁄2 cup cold milk, plus more as needed
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Green Tomato ChowChow
  • 1/2 medium cabbage, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 ounces green tomatoes, diced, about 2 small
  • 8 ounces red and green sweet peppers, diced, about 11⁄2 peppers
  • 4 ounces banana peppers, diced, about 1
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and diced (seeded optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 4 green onions, trimmed and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup 1 cup apple cider vinegar
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. To make the collards with pot likker: soak the collard greens in warm water and wash three times or until all of the sand and soil come off in the water. drain.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, flesh side down, to the pot. Cook until the onion gets some black bits and starts to soften, 6 to 8 minutes, turning in the skillet a few times. Remove the onion from the pot. Remove the onion skin and chop.
  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot along with the onion, garlic, and ginger and lightly sauté until the onion is translucent and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the collard greens, turkey wing, water, and salt to the pot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a low simmer and cook, covered, for 1 hour. Transfer the turkey wing to a cutting board to cool, 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. While the turkey is cooling, add the caraway seeds and red pepper flakes to the greens. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes until the greens are very tender.
  6. When the turkey wing is cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the wing and discard the skin. Return the bones and turkey meat to the pot and finish simmering the collards.
  7. To make the dumplings: in a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg, if using.
  8. Add the butter to the flour mixture and mix with your fingers or a fork until it has a sandy consistency.
  9. In a separate bowl, mix the egg and milk.
  10. Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. If the mixture looks too dry, add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, kneading until the dough is soft and elastic and the sides of the bowl are clean.
  11. Pour an inch of oil into a skillet and heat it until small bubbles cover the bottom of the pan.
  12. Use a small ice cream scoop to drop golf ball–sized rounds (about 2 tablespoons each) of batter into the oil, about five at a time. Make sure not to crowd the pot, since this will cause the oil temperature to drop. Fry until golden brown all over, turning frequently, about 4 minutes.
  13. Drain the fried dumplings on paper towels.
  14. To make the chowchow: In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the cabbage, onion, tomatoes, sweet peppers, banana peppers, celery, jalapeño, parsley, green onion, salt, and sugar. Add all of the spices and vinegar and stir to thoroughly combine. Cover and let stand for 4 hours or refrigerate overnight. Once combined, it can be canned to be used throughout the season.
  15. To serve: Add the cornbread dumplings to the pot likker, if desired, and serve with the chowchow on the side.

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