There's more to collards than simmering them with bacon. The humble staple of a Southern winter dresses up very prettily in this colorful dish, which would be even more colorful if I could have used cauliflower. But, alas, my DH hates it. You could, however, use it in yours. And if you don't have collards you could use kale.
- 8 links sweet Italian sausage (or some of each) or 8 links hot Italian sausage (or some of each)
- 1 bunch collard greens (about 1.25-1.5lbs) or 1 large kale
- 1 head broccoli or 1 head cauliflower
- 2 onions
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes or 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- parmesan cheese
- balsamic vinegar (optional) or red wine vinegar (optional) or cider vinegar (optional)
- Put the sausage into a pot. Cover with water and simmer 15 minutes or so while you cope with the veggies.
- Clean and trim the collards. IMO, the best way to wash greens is to put them into a large, deep sink and slosh them around in the water like a tub of laundry. Tip -- if they are very muddy rinse them in a bucket outdoors first to keep the dirt out of your drains.
- Chop the collards and, if using the cherry tomatoes, cut them in half.
- Clean the broccoli and cut it in bite-sized pieces.
- Peel the onions. Quarter them lengthwise then slice them thickly.
- In a large, cast iron pan - a chicken fryer, a dutch oven, or a stir-fry pan -- saute the onions and broccoli until about half cooked.
- Add about 1/2 cup of the broth from the sausage then start adding handfuls of collards or kale to the pan. Stir frequently, adding additional handfuls as it cooks down, until its all in the pan.
- As you cook the greens, grill or fry the pre-cooked sausages to brown them nicely.
- Once the collards are all in the pan, steam-saute the mixture until the collards are well-cooked, but not grey or mushy.
- Add the tomatoes and stir around until they are well-heated.
- Serve the sausage on top of or beside the veggies, sprinkling both with Parmesan to taste.
- Pass vinegar at the table if desired since many people feel that no dish of collards is complete without it.
- Note -- It makes a good potluck dish if you quarter the sausage and toss with the veggies before topping the whole pan with Parmesan.