braised collard greens with thai flavors.

braised collard greens with thai flavors.

*psst* I saw green things poking out of the ground this weekend. My grass is solidly brown, but I feel like that’ll change relatively soon thanks to some warmer temperatures and a large amount of soul-warming sunshine. I should probably get the Wee One’s sled out of the yard at some point. #classy

Priority: getting some of the backlog posted. I baked and cooked my way through february, and it’s time to find the words and get some of my favorite things published. This is one of them – the collard greens I made for our very small Oscar party a few weeks back. Spicy, exotic, and easy – three words I really never thought I’d use to describe a collards recipe, and yet here i am, and it’s all true. I think i’ve always thought of collards as slightly heavy in nature; a weighed-down leaf suitable for big, filling meals…that’s just not true, and I think it all depends on what you do with them.

braised collard greens with thai flavors.

Collards prepared in this way I imagine myself eating year-round: they’re comforting, but not necessarily bound to winter evenings. The Thai spices make them feel exotic, but not so much that you can’t pair them with a simple roast chicken or some fish – they’d be lovely with fish, now that I say that…something about them would really ground a lighter main like that. I’d eat them solo, but that’s me: sometimes a big heaping plate of vegetables or greens does wonderfully at the end of a day. And there’s so much flavor here, with so little effort.

If you’ve never made collards, this is a pretty great recipe to begin with: it’s simple to put together, I usually keep all of these ingredients on hand anyway (except the collards, obviously), and I can’t imagine a scenario in which this recipe could fail. And who among us couldn’t use more greens in their lives, right? Amen.

braised collard greens with thai flavors.

Barely adapted, in measurements only, i think, from this recipe I saw on Food52 for Collard Greens Braised in Coconut Milk. A fabulous one for regular rotation.

Braised Collard Greens with Thai Flavors

Serves 4 as a side

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow sweet onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 pounds collard greens, stems removed, cut into ribbons
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • sea salt, to taste
  • dash red chile flakes, to taste

Melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large wok or heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the collard greens to the pan. Stir frequently for 1 to 2 minutes, until the collards are just wilting. Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, lime juice, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to the wok or skillet and stir until everything is combined. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to low – mixture should just be bubbling. Cook for 15 minutes like this, or until the greens are totally tender, adding a little broth as needed.

Season to taste with salt and a little more soy sauce. Divide onto plates and garnish with chili flakes. Serve immediately.

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  • Reply Faygie March 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I’ve actually never had collard greens. This recipe looks delicious, though. I’ll have to give it a try!

    • Reply shannon March 12, 2015 at 7:42 am

      oh you should! If i can do it, you can…they’re surprisingly mild, or maybe i just thought the worst and got a better version of what i imagined them to be. 🙂 And this can totally be made with light coconut milk, too, for a little less heft, because you’d still get all the flavor.

  • Reply Deb|EastofEdenCooking March 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Yes we all need more great greens recipes! I imagine this recipe would be mighty fine with chard or kale too. The sauce would be divine soaking into a pile of brown rice, making a great lunch or dinner recipe!

    • Reply shannon March 12, 2015 at 7:41 am

      I imagine you’re totally right, Deb: i’d love to try this with either one of those…chard, especially, would be lovely and visually stunning as well. totally good with a grain as a full (and satisfying) meal, i agree!

  • Reply Jennie @themessybakerblog March 9, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I still dream about the collard greens I ate while we were visiting Charleston. I think I ordered them with just about every meal. I love what you’ve done with this recipe. Can I come live with you?

    • Reply shannon March 12, 2015 at 7:40 am

      short answer: yes. you may. bring the drinks and snacks.

  • Reply Monica March 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Anything cooked in coconut milk has got to go down easy! The aroma – not to mention flavor – of this has to be amazing. Collard greens is one of those greens I like but only get on occasion and haven’t cooked at home. Now that we’re also digging out of this cold and snow, it’s time to start thinking greens and getting more adventurous with it!

    • Reply shannon March 12, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Yes, ma’am! coconut milk is one of those things that i never used until maybe 5 or so years ago, and then…coconut milk EVERYTHING. 🙂 this is a nice transitional recipe for those of us still straddling the line between warm and chilly, for sure. a nice “intro” i suppose, to spring.

  • Reply John@Kitchen Riffs March 9, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Collard greens were kale before kale was kale. If you know what I mean. 🙂 Love this dish — spicy and collard greens go hand in hand. Thanks.

    • Reply shannon March 12, 2015 at 7:38 am

      Agree! Collards are the OG of the tough-leaf category, for sure! And i’m happy to familiarize myself with them in a way that makes them actually delicious versus tolerable. thanks!

  • Reply elizabeth March 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I agree–coconut milk does make most things more palatable, even (eek!) collards. These other flavors do look enticing, so maybe I’ll have to try this dish. I’m not much of a collards (or cooked greens in general) person…but perhaps this will change that.

    • Reply shannon March 12, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Eek is exactly how i’ve approached collards up until now: they get a bad rap for being tough and not exactly the most delicious things, and i’ve had less than stellar luck with beet greens and the like, so…i was wary. but the coconut milk combined with the fresh ginger and so forth really makes them something i look forward to rather than something i dread. Promise!

  • Reply movita beaucoup March 16, 2015 at 5:14 am

    I’ve been dying to try collard greens. Mostly because I see them in the movies all the time. Therefore: me + eating collard greens = stardom

  • Reply Ashley March 17, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Phew, I’m not alone. I’ve never tried collards despite my A) proclivity to try strange new produce in recent years despite a lack of knowledge and actual taste bravery and B) knowing they’re really good and could be used easily. So I think about it….and don’t. But you’re giving me the perfect reason to actually do it. Seriously, I need more greens. And with that, I barely recognize myself 🙂

    • Reply shannon March 30, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Girl, no: you’re not alone, and maybe we’re bad foodies b/c we haven’t tried collards, but whatever. Trust me with this recipe: it’s easy, so it’s kinda great because you don’t feel like you’re putting a ton of work into something you maybe don’t like, and also? you’ll like it. Because coconut milk makes everything (everything!) less scary, in my opinion. At this point, i could make SHOES with thai flavors and i would like them, b/c that’s how much i love coconut milk and ginger and cilantro together.

      do it! 🙂

  • Reply Cassandra P December 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I just made your recipe for the Christmas holiday and I love it. I bet it’s going to be really good after the flavors have a chance to minger more. Thanks for sharing

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