Sunny Days in Texas: Nice Ass Greens

Week three, week three–let’s start with some Nice Ass Greens!

Saturday found me with a little spare time, so I spent the afternoon cooking up a vegan Southern feast. Crispy Crunchy Stuffed Tofu Pockets from Kittee’s Papa Tofu zine will come tomorrow, but today I’m all about some awesome collard greens.

At market, farmers are now showing up with plenty of autumn produce–pumpkins of all sizes and colors, winter squash, and, of course, a bevy of dark, leafy greens. Greens season is one of my favorite seasons–I can’t get enough of kale, collards, chard, mustard, turnip, and any other green you can think of. Collards, however, outshine the others.

Coming from the South, collards are one of those vegetables that are just destroyed when they’re cooked. No longer green, my relatives often slow simmered the leaves down to a dull, blase grey, the main flavors being pork and salt. When I was vegan, however, I learned how to cook them on my own–cooked long enough to be tender, but keep the brightness, season lightly. All of a sudden, collard greens were delicious and the perfect side dish for any meal.

The greens in Sunny Days in Texas (a zine created to benefit the Sunny Day Farm Animal Sanctuary in La Coste, Texas) are right up my alley. The recipe was contributed to the zine by Stephanie of Lazy Smurf Vegan and with minimal directions meant to apply to any type of leafy green, the gist is that the greens should be cooked just long enough to be tender and layer a hint of acidity with some white balsamic vinegar and savory umami with nutritional yeast. The punch of dried fruit brings it all together. Simple and incredibly flavorful, these Nice Ass Greens are going to stay in my heavy rotation–can’t wait to try them out with other kinds of greens!

Nice Ass Greens

Adapted from Sunny Days in Texas

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch collard greens, chopped (tutorial here)
2 tbsp water
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh crushed black pepper to taste

In a large skillet or pot, caramelize the onions in the olive oil over low heat until browned, ~20-30 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the greens and water, stir, and place a lid over the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes until the greens have wilted and are beginning to become tender. Add the dried cranberries and cook 10 minutes, until tender.

Add the nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper and cook 1 minute more, until coated.

Serves 4

On This Day in MoFos Past:
2008: Pumpkin Pie Bites
2009: Pan Roasted Hen of the Woods Mushrooms with Maple Pumpkin Polenta and Tatsoi “Spoon” Mustard Greens

8 Responses to “Sunny Days in Texas: Nice Ass Greens”
  1. FoodFeud says:

    mmmm the dried cranberries must be delicious in this! I actually rarely cook collards myself but I do enjoy them a lot. How does white balsamic compare to the usual?

    • Jes says:

      I found the white balsamic to be a tad lighter than regular, a more mellow acidic. It’s the first time I’ve ever played with it, looking forward to experimenting more!

  2. Renae says:

    Mark is just now beginning to accept greens (and I’m very proud of him), but I still can’t get him to eat collards. I’ll have to try this twist on them and see if it has what it takes to finally convert him – I like the cranberry idea.

  3. lazysmurf says:

    Yeah!!! I’m stoked you tried the nice ass greens! It really is my go to recipe. I love it. And totally perfect with those grits.

  4. Greens and grits sound like a super comforting breakfast for cool rainy days. I love the idea of adding cranberries!

  5. Liz says:

    These llook delicious! I have some kale in my fridge that would benefit from this treatment.

  6. kittee says:

    I haven’t had grits in a long while, so I think I’ll be making some collards to go with! Yum.

  7. Love this recipe to pieces because 1) The title makes me smile, and 2) Caramelized onions + anything = guaranteed deliciousness.

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