Sunday, October 7, 2012

Collard Greens with Pancetta and Blackened Chillies

Unlike a lot of traditional southern recipes, I like my collard greens al dente and slightly chewy. My quick-cook method is full of texture and crunch, and pairs the fibrous greens with crispy bits of salty pancetta and smoky, blackened dried red chillies, all pulled together at the end with the bright, finishing note of lemon juice.

1 lb [500 gms] Collard Greens
4 oz [125 gms] Pancetta*, diced
1 tbsp Olive Oil
4 whole Dried Red Chillis
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
Salt (to taste)
¼ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
Juice of ½ Lemon
  1. Wash collard greens, remove and discard stems and centre ribs, and cut leaves in half vertically. Stack 4–5 leaves together, roll up, and cut into ½-inch-wide strips. Add collard greens to a pot of boiling water and cook over high heat for 30 mins. Drain water and set aside greens. (You can prepare the collard greens up to this point a day ahead and store in the fridge.)
  2. In a large skillet or frying pan, render pancetta over high heat until crisp and golden. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and set to drain on a paper-lined plate. Pour out any fat in the skillet and wipe clean.
  3. Heat olive oil in the same skillet over high heat until smoking. Add dried red chillies and stir briskly for about a minute until the chillies just start to blacken. Add garlic, and fry for about 1 min, until lightly golden.
  4. Add collard greens, pancetta, salt, and pepper, and cook for 5 mins. Sprinkle water if the skillet gets too dry. Turn off heat, add lemon juice and stir well. Let sit for 5 mins before serving. 
*TIP: You can substitute pancetta with bacon or uncured pork belly.



© Copyright 2012 Shubhani Sarkar