My family has greens every holiday. Growing up, it was always collards cooked tender with onions and a ham hock or salt pork, with a healthy dose of cider vinegar to cut any residual bitterness. Delicious, simple, and never disappointing.
The great thing about greens is that they actually marry well with other strong flavors, and many cultures cook these nutritional powerhouses in many ways. One of my favorite flavors to pair with greens is garlic, and roasted garlic goes exceptionally well. I added sweet balsamic vinegar and roasted tomatoes, which resulted in smiles all around the table.
2 bunches collard greens
1 head of garlic
4 roma tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon fine kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Peel all of the outer paper from the head of garlic, but leaving the head in tact. Place on a square of foil large enough to make a package. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil and gather up the sides to twist to seal the top. Place in the oven to roast for 30 minutes on until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
3. Next, toss the tomato quarters in a small bowl with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread out in a glass baking dish and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are sizzling and have started to brown around the edges.
4. Stem the collards and roughly chop. Dunk into a large bowl of water and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Swish around to wash, then drain in a colander.
5. Place the greens in a large pot and cover with water by one inch. Bring to a boil, add salt, then lower to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes
6. Remove the collards from the heat and pour off all but 1/2 cup of the potlikker (pot liquid). Place in large bowl and squeeze out each clove of garlic onto the greens. Drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and all of the balsamic vinegar and toss gently to combine. Place the roasted tomatoes on top of the greens and toss gently once or twice. Serve warm.