Greens are a staple for Kwanzaa. They are also enjoyed when ringing in the New Year. Greens eaten at the start of the new year are meant to bring prosperity for the coming year.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 lbs. collard greens, washed well, stemmed and chopped
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp (or more) red pepper flakes, depending upon your desired level of heat
- Several grinds of black pepper
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 to 3 c. stock or water
- In a large pot, over medium heat, add olive oil.
- When oil is hot, add green onions and sauté until wilted.
- Add all of the chopped collard greens to the pot.
- Add paprika, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and cider vinegar and stir.
- Add stock to the pot and reduce heat to medium.
- Cover pot with lid and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring once or twice, until liquids are reduced and collards are tender.
- Check for seasoning and add more if needed.
NOTE: This dish is great the way it is. The paprika will add a smokey note that is very satisfying. However, many people enjoy their greens cooked with meat. If you do, omit the olive oil and add 5 to 6 strips of bacon to the beginning of the recipe. In the empty pot, cook the bacon strips until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside until later. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings and discard the rest. You can then follow through with the rest of the recipe as directed, using the bacon drippings instead of the olive oil. Be sure to crumble the reserved bacon strips into the collards at the very end, just before serving.