This is NOT the way my mother does greens, but I’m telling you, this is GOOD! I got the idea from our neighbor, Chef Joel St. John. Until I had his greens I’d never thought about all the other things that could be added to the pot. He sometimes adds tasso, venison sausage, and I’m guessing Andouille too if he has it on hand.

Ingredients

4 bunches Collard Greens, stripped and cleaned (or a mixture of greens)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 medium turnips, peeled and diced
3-4 dried arbol chiles (each about 1″ long) cleaned of seeds (or substitute fresh)
2-3 bell peppers (cleaned and diced – mixture of red, yellow & green is nice)
1/2 pound bacon (or smoked sausages, sliced)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Louisiana Hot Sauce
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1 – 2 Tablespoons cooking oil

Directions

Clean greens and rinse several times to remove sand and grit. Tear or cut with knife into bite-sized pieces and set aside. (Research has shown that letting the greens rest for 10 minutes after cutting them increases their nutritional value. No, I’m not kidding!)

Into a big pot with a lid, heat a bit of cooking oil. Cook onion, celery, chile arbol, mixed peppers and garlic for a few minutes. Add bacon and potatoes and cook a bit longer. Add greens and Old Bay. Splash in a BIG healthy dose of hot sauce with a bit of sugar.  Add water if necessary to make sure greens don’t scorch on bottom of pan. There might be enough moisture on them already.

Cover pan and simmer gently until greens are tender. This could take 30-60 minutes or longer. Enjoy!

Update: We’ve been doing greens all kinds of ways since we published this recipe. Here are some things to try.

Experiment with other meats instead of bacon. Try Andouille or any good smoked sausage you can find. Try adding a cleaned poblano. It’s a wide open affair here. Try mustard, turnip, or other greens, or a mixture. Be bold. Have fun!