Who knew this southern green staple, collard greens, aka collards could become something other then a slow cooked slippery mass of greens swimming in liquid, aka pot liquor? I didn’t. This ubiquitous bowl of greens, commonly served with cornbread, can be found most anywhere in the south. If not served, they sure know somewhere close you can go get some!
When I saw this recipe for collard salad the northerner in me was apprehensive. Did I say NORTHERNER? No need to worry or get confused that this shepherd living and farming in the south is not the person you thought you knew… I am not a true northern but a confused mix of both. Most of my rearing took place in the south. After all I born in the south. I cannot get too far away from the fact that both my parents were northerners and I spent a lot of my youth in the north. My mom was a northerner so that’s how we ate growing up. My mom also was adventurous and would be the first to honor any culture so we did eat southern foods from time to time but mostly like a northern transplant might. She DID, as so many northern folk do, put sugar in her cornbread, not much but enough to know she could not be a southerner. I have one of her old cookbooks and my story is evidenced by her handwritten “cornbread” recipe on the back cover. Yep, sugar!
So in my round about way I’m saying collards are not and never were a common item on any menu in my house. I eat them and enjoy them once a year, New years day.
On one particular Saturday in May at our weekly farmers market I was gifted a bundle of collard greens. Grateful yes. Unsure what I could do; so true. Unable to waste anything =challenged.
Who better to help with this deeply southern food group then Vivian Howard. I luckily own her first cookbook, Deep Run Roots. I journeyed through several of the recipes when I first got the cookbook, everything I tried was good. Her deviled eggs with buttah, blueberry BBQ sauce, and her Party Magnet Cheese ball (as featured in Garden & Gun Mag) all were hits. Anywho, gifted with a bundle of collards I decided to try one of the recipes and ended up choosing the collard salad. What a surprise, what a treat. I usually ALWAYS commit to making a recipe exactly as written the first time but I just did not have pineapple on hand. I did have collards though! The heated dressing wilts and tenderizes and the overnight marinade brings out the wonderful flavors. The greens keep a “green” texture which allows it to be considered a salad I suppose. I honestly say the pineapple was not missed and the idea of it has me a bit confused. Alas, out of my desire to respect all recipes as written I shall try the pineapple next time.