Recipe by MC Baker
My friends love the ham hock collards I make and there's two recipes close my version (Spicy Southern Collard Greens and Southern Collard Greens), but I always feel bad leaving out my vegetarian and vegan friends. This is what the vegan version I came up with for them and for myself when I was vegetarian. It still has a lot of the body the meaty version has, but less fat, and no pork. I brought this to a party recently and some people liked this more than my ham hock ones! Other types of greens can be substituted such as turnip or mustard greens. The prep time is for prepared collards (already chopped, stemmed and washed). In my grocery store I've found that the prepared ones are cheaper than the bunches of collards if you consider the yield after the stems are removed. Also it's a lot less trouble. If you need to prepare them yourself just take the hard rib out, up most of the back of the leaf, chop into pieces and then wash for a few minutes in cold water and drain.
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon (I use the Better than Bouillon brand)
- 1 teaspoon vegemite (but adds a bit of B vitamins and a nice body) (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Bacos bacon bits (1 tablespoon of "bacon salt" is preferable, but may be difficult to find. Bacos and bacon salt are b)
- 2 bunches collard greens, stems removed, cut into 1 inch pieces and washed thoroughly
- 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- 1 cup water
Directions See How It's Made
- Saute the onion and pepper in the olive oil until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). I usually do this and everything else in a large stock pot.
- Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Mix in the bouillon, vegemite, bacon salt, salt and pepper and mix through to dissolve the Vegemite and bouillon.
- Add a little water to dilute the mixture and then add the collards over a medium high heat. You should probably add in batches so it wilts easier, but you can go ahead and add all of the collards and water and cover and let simmer to wilt.
- Once the collards have started to wilt and you make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot turn the stove to low or medium low and let cook covered for at least an hour or until the collards are as tender as you'd like. You may want to add water later if you would like more pot liquor for dipping cornbread.
- I've tried substituting white wine for some of the water and this is also a good variation, but there's more than enough flavor without it.