Collard greens are part of the same vegetable family as cabbage and broccoli and are known for their large, dark-colored, edible leaves. Collard greens do not have a close-knit core of leaves like cabbage, making them more tolerant of high humidity levels. It's no wonder that collard greens have become so closely associated with the deep South and are a staple in Southern cuisine.
These greens are slightly bitter, so they taste even better when cooked with a bit of vinegar, sugar, and seasoned with some spicy hot sauce. Of course, adding some juicy pieces of thick-cut bacon makes eating your greens even more enjoyable.
Traditionally, collard greens are enjoyed on New Year's Day along with black-eyed peas and cornbread, to ensure wealth and good luck in the coming year. But they're also eaten all season long in the South as a favorite side dish. Instead of cooking low and slow on the stove, this recipe prepares the collard greens quickly and easily using an electric pressure cooker. They are ready to enjoy in under 30 minutes, making them great for a weeknight.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup onion (chopped)
- 6 ounces thick-cut bacon (cut into 1-inch lardons)
- 1 (16-ounce) bag collard greens (chopped)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oil in an electric pressure cooker on the sauté setting. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and just beginning to brown and bacon has rendered some of its fat about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the collard greens to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until the collards are shiny and wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. If all of the greens don’t fit into the pot at the same time, cook and wilt them in batches.
Stir in the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and hot sauce. Lock lid and turn to the manual setting. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
Release the pressure manually, then open lid and taste collard greens. Adjust the seasoning as needed. If there’s a lot of excess liquid in the pot, return to the sauté setting and simmer until the liquid is reduced enough to just lightly coat the greens.
Transfer the cooked collard greens to a platter. Season with additional hot sauce as desired.
- Collard greens tend to be quite sandy, so it is important to thoroughly wash the greens before adding them to the recipe. They might need to be scrubbed and rinsed a few times to make sure they are perfectly clean. You should continue to wash the greens until you don't see any grit left in the water in the sink. Alternatively, fill a clean basin or sink with cold water and dunk the leaves. Let soak a few minutes so that the grit sinks to the bottom of the basin.