This leafy green is so well-known that you can call it by its first name—collards—and you don’t need to say anything else.
Cooking it means getting down to business slow and low, seasoning it with full-flavored foods like pork and bacon, adding in spices like salt and pepper, and bringing in just the right amounts of heat. While cooking collard greens can sometimes be a little off the beaten path, most Southerners can’t imagine cafeteria-style meals without them. And, of course, you can’t begin the new year without some because they’re supposed to bring you luck.
Since you’re going to eat them, you might as well do it right, with dishes like Southern-Style Collard Greens, Creamed Collards, or Collards with Red Onions. For some more Southern-style greens, a bowl of Bacon-and-Bourbon Collards should be on the menu. If you want to turn your greens into a full meal, make a plate of Chicken-and-Collards Pilau. Get your collards at the local farmers’ market, or the supermarket, where you’ll find them with all the other leafy greens. Then, get ready to get down with some true Southern flavor and style: and eat your greens.