How to Prepare Collard Greens Easily and Quickly

Collard greens whole leaves

Collard greens can look pretty intimidating — they range from large to gigantic, and look like they’d take hours to prep and even longer to cook. But this is totally not the case. If you know how to tame them, they’re easily prepped and very quickly cooked. They’re a boon to the plant-based diet, as they’re a fantastic source of calcium (better than kale) and rich in vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. Forget about the old way of cooking them in a bit pot of boiling water. That way, collards lose color, flavor, and nutrients. Prepping them with this easier, more contemporary technique preserves all that is great about collards. 

How to prepare collard greens

Step 1. Cut away the tough stem with kitchen shears or a small sharp knife so that the leaves are cut in half lengthwise.

How to prepare collard greens

Step 2. Stack 6 or so similar-sized half leaves one atop the other.

How to prepare collard greens

Step 3. Starting from one end, roll the leaves up tightly.

How to prepare collard greens

Step 4. Cut the rolled up leaves crosswise. The technique of cutting veggies into ribbons is called “chiffonade,” in case you were wondering …

How to prepare collard greens

Step 5. The ribbons will be long, kind of like noodles, so if you’d like them to be shorter you can give them a cut in the opposite direction.

How to cook collard greens

Step 6. Use these collard ribbons any way you’d like. Toss them into stir fries or soups; or add them to roasted veggies about 10 minutes before the roasting process is done. My favorite way, and the simplest, is to sauté a little garlic in a stir-fry pan for a minute or so, then add the collard ribbons, turn up the heat, and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until bright green. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and serve. Yum!

Recipes using this technique for prepping collard greens:

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