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Wilted Collard Greens

  • 20 min prep time
  • Serves 6-8

Collard greens get a bad rap because many old-fashioned recipes cook them for hours until army green and mushy. Here, gently wilted collards maintain their vibrant color and toothsome texture. Unlike typical preparations, where the stems are discarded, this recipe makes use of them as a crisp textural counterpoint to the tender leaves. The sweet onions and acidic vinegar balance the natural bitterness of the collards and make this healthy side memorable. These greens are best served immediately after cooking. Consider making the vinegar mixture up to an hour before mealtime, then cooking the greens just as you are sitting down to eat.  


1 pound collard greens 

2 tbsp. expeller-pressed safflower oil

1/2 red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup) 

1 tsp. Kosher salt 

3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar  


1. Strip the collard green leaves from the stems, reserving the stems. Roughly chop the leaves into 2-inch squares.

2. Trim the bottom inch from the stems and discard. Chop the remaining stems into 1/4-inch pieces.  

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are fully translucent and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the vinegar and cook until the mixture is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. (If not serving immediately, remove the skillet from the heat and set aside until mealtime.)  

5. At meal time, return the skillet containing the onion and vinegar mixture to medium-high heat. Add the collard stems and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until they turn a vibrant green.

6. Add the leaves and cook, mixing frequently with tongs, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the leaves are wilted and vibrant green.

Serve immediately.