M: Yes indeed. More collards. It’s getting warm here in the piedmont, which means before too long the collards will become too bitter to eat, but let’s sneak one more recipe in and give a tip of the hat to the greens that have carried us through the cold months. Well, the cool months. Actually, it’s been fairly clement all the way through. Still, the collards have been plentiful and I’m still not sick of them. But here comes spring and I’ll happily trade them for the varied and copious warm weather goodness ahead. Still, glad I could work this one in before it was too late.
This hearty side combines collards with white beans, cheese, bread crumbs, spices and, what else, pork. The combination gives this side terrific texture and weight. The author explains this was conceived as a side for grilled quail. That sounds just about right to me. I served it with roasted chicken for dinner and it was good. Very good. But for lunch the next day I had a generous helping on its own and it did just fine unaccompanied. I hit it with a good dash of hot sauce, because that’s what I do, but this recipe does great unaltered. Nothing finer than a side that can stand up for itself.
And so we bid a fond farewell to collard season. Haters may consider the farewell more fondly than I, but for me, it’s been a good run. Just the same, don’t be hurt that I’m about to forget all about you until sometime next fall.
Recipe: Collard Green and White Bean Gratin
Summary: Our cool weather crop delivers one last time. From The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook
- 1 Lb Collard Greens, stemmed and chopped
- 5 Cloves Garlic, 1 crushed and 4 chopped
- 1/4 c Olive Oil
- 1 Red bell Pepper, chopped
- 3 c Cooked White Beans, 1/3 c liquid reserved
- 1/2 c Ham-Hock meat, Sausage, Bacon or Chorizo, diced
- 1/4 c Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 T Fresh Rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 c Bread Crumbs
- Salt and Pepper
- Boil collards in salted water in a large pot, then set aside.
- Rub inside of 10 in gratin dish with crushed garlic and set aside.
- Saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil until tender (about 10 minutes), then add garlic can cook one more minute.
- Add greens, stir to coat and transfer to large bowl.
- Stir in beans, 2 tablespoons parmigiano-reggiano, 1 teaspoon oil and rosemary then season with salt and pepper.
- Spread into gratin dish, top with bread crumbs and remaining parmigiano-reggiano. Drizzle with remaining oil.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 475 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until top is golden brown (about 10 more minutes)
Originally: Collard Green and White Bean Gratin