Quick Eats: Baby collards with onion, guanciale and orzo

So it was 5:00 yesterday and I was on my way home with no idea what to make for dinner. The wife’s gone so it had to be something I could do quickly, perhaps with a little one on the hip. I was stopping into Clover’s for a couple of items anyway and wandered over to check out the produce. I have a weakness for collard greens, so baby collards jumped right out. The plan started to come together…

Sauteed baby collards with onion, guanciale and orzo

4 oz. guanciale (yes, bacon would be quite fine here…so would sausage, whatever)

4 oz. (or more) baby collards, sliced thinly, tough stems discarded

half of a small red onion, chopped

lemon orzo (regular would be fine too, perhaps with a squeeze of lemon), cooked and drained

Sautee meat until rendered and lightly crispy, then remove to a plate. Throw in collards and onion, sauteeing on medium heat for five minutes (or whenever collards start to get tender). Return meat to the pan and toss with however much orzo you want. Or serve on top.

Anyway, this was done in about 20 minutes from start to finish and the kids loved it. I drizzled some pepper vinegar on top…quite nice, really.

Clover’s has these nice little packages of baby collards right now – at least the E. Broadway outpost did. Chestnuts as well…I picked up a few dozen more of those. Get ’em while they last!

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Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

6 thoughts

  1. I had never had collards until we signed up for a CSA over the summer. We really liked them too! They are even great in stir-fries. I saw something on another blog awhile back about cooking them with hot pepper vinegar (which I’ve seen at The Root Cellar), I’ll have to try if I can get a hold of some more.

    I think this sounds pretty good. I would make it sans meat of course, but I think it would go really well with the lemon orzo. Yum!

  2. Collards are pretty underrated, I think. One of my only complaints with the co-op we participated in was the paucity of greens like collards. I’m hoping next year that we get more of those.

    As for the pepper vinegar, I just pulled some red cayennes off our pepper plant a few months ago, sliced them and threw them in a Mason jar with white vinegar. Voila! Pepper vinegar.

    I’m almost done with the first batch…next one is with habaneros. That should be interesting.

    And it would be okay with olive oil. But the guanciale was from a happy pig raised by Jim and Deanna Crocker near Hallsville and cured myself.

  3. We’re still eating on our fresh collards & other greens, though the end is drawing nigh. In part due to your inspirations, I bought some uncured bacon cuts from JJR at market yesterday and am going to try some home curing ala Rowson. Also picked up some bacon tips and am likely to try this method of collards, as I’ve gotten into a rut with ours of just sauteeing with garlic, mustard greens, kale, and tomato vinegar. So good, but we need to branch out.

    BTW, you can expect lots more fresh fall greens from us next year at market and/or on-farm. Not sure what’s up with RC and greens; we sold them greens in the fall last year and they were thrilled to get them. Maybe they just don’t like growing them.

  4. Good man. Did you get some pink salt? I think it’s less important for bacon that other charcuterie preparations (shorter curing time) but still is recommended in most recipes I’ve seen. I got it online at Butcher-Packer or something and $10 worth will last a long time.

    I doubt Walker et al just don’t like growing collards…most of the stuff we got in the co-op was grown by other local farmers anyway. So, a bit of feedback I’ve provided them in what was overall a wonderful, high-value experience with them this year.

  5. Not yet, I won’t be messing with this until late December.

    Glad to hear RC’s CSA was good; we’ve been trying to take a mental assessment of all the CSAs in the area and didn’t know much about their operation.

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