After being raised in the South, I tend to think of collard greens and pork as a fixed pair. But in Vegetables, James Peterson encourages a break from that tradition. Still utilizing the standard practice of braising the greens in a flavor (and fat) packed liquid, Peterson takes a South Asian turn, adding coconut milk, garam masala, garlic, chile peppers, and ginger to make his Curried Collard Greens. The collards cook until meltingly tender, and the coconut milk reduces to a thick, luscious sauce. While the curry flavor was a bit muted, the addition of the coconut was transformative–enough to make me to (maybe) reconsider the necessity of bacon in my greens.
Why I picked This Recipe: Braising is standard procedure for collard greens, but the addition of curry powder and coconut milk was a new and intriguing idea.
What Worked: The technique was rock-solid, and the abundance of fat from the butter and coconut milk helped to temper the bitterness of the greens.
What Didn’t: Peterson doesn’t suggest seasoning until the greens are fully cooked. I’d season with salt when they are added to the pot and then once more once they’re finished cooking. The flavor of the spices were a little lost amongst the rich coconut milk and earthy greens.
Suggested Tweaks: Next time, I’d go up the garam masala to at least a tablespoon, and I’d probably try making the spice blend myself.
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