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Use Collards to Make Brazilian Greens

Collard greens

“In the 21st century, we have learned that not all greens are cooked with bacon drippings and a ham hock,” Jessica B. Harris writes with no small part of her tongue firmly planted in cheek in her new book, “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America” (Bloomsbury, $26). “This is the way that they accompany feijoada, the national dish of Brazil. The greens may be kale or collards or a mix, but I prefer to use the collards.”

You can serve the greens alongside anything from beef and pork to chicken and fish. Present them with orange or tangelo slices for a beautiful array of colors and flavors.

I made a variation of this dish shortly after visiting Brazil, using kale. It is the only time I can remember my father asking for seconds of anything I ever cooked.

Collards and kale are both are in season, and you’ll find them at your local farmers market right now.

Brazilian Greens

2 pounds fresh young collard greens
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, or to taste, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons water
Hot sauce, to taste

Wash the collard greens thoroughly and bunch leaves together. Take the bunch, roll it tightly, and cut it crosswise into thin strips. (This is a method that the French call en chiffonade.) Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, then cook the garlic, stirring over medium heat, then cook the garlic, stirring it until it’s only slightly browned. Add the collard strips and cook them, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, so that the greens are soft but retain their bright color. Add a tablespoon orĀ  two of water, cover, lower the heat and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Serve hot with the hot sauce of your choice.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “Tasting Brazil”/”High on the Hog” by Jessica B. Harris

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