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Collard Greens with Lardons and Smoked Onion Jam

Chef Joseph Lenn of Blackberry Farm, who developed this recipe, says that “people in the South will often put lots of vinegar on their greens, masking the true flavor. In this dish, our onion jam adds just enough sweetness and acidity to balance the flavor.” It’s a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving: You can blanch the collard greens a day in advance and refrigerate, then finish the dish a few minutes before serving. If you prefer your greens more brothy, increase the chicken stock to 3 cups (750 ml).

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 lb. (2 kg) collard greens, stemmed, leaves cut into strips 3/4
      inch (2 cm) thick
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 oz. (250 g) slab bacon or thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces 1/4
      inch (6 mm) thick (lardons)
  • 3 Tbs. sliced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup (75 g) Blackberry Farm smoked onion jam or
      caramelized shallots
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the collard greens until tender, about 6 minutes. Cool in an ice bath, then drain. Place in a kitchen towel and wring out excess water. 

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Cook the lardons, stirring, until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels, reserving 2 Tbs. fat in the pan. Set the pan over low heat and cook the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring, for 1 minute.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add the collards and stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Stir in the smoked onion jam, lardons, salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 8.

Recipe by Chef Joseph Lenn, Executive Chef of the Barn, Blackberry Farm