Collard greens and chard along with corn and anchovy are the main requisites of the cuisine of the central and eastern part of the Black Sea region in Turkey. The use of corn in cooking is surprisingly higher in that region than it’s in the South of US. The most popular collard greens dishes from the Black Sea region are collard greens soup and collard greens dolma–they use collard greens in stead of grape leaves and sometimes replace rice with cracked corn. It’s delicious. This was my first attempt to cook collard greens in States so I chose an easier dish.
2 bunches of collard greens (2 bunches might seem like a lot, but they cook down)
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced or grated
1 tbsp pepper or tomato paste
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp crushed peppers
2 cups of water
-Put a lot of water in a big pot and bring to a boil
-Cut the collard greens in two, lengthwise, and then chop them in approximately 1/2 inch pieces. Wash them well and boil them in the pot for 8-10 minutes and drain. You don’t have to boil them beforehand; however, the leaves can be really though and so, hard to cook.
-Cook oil, onions, and garlic for 3-4 minutes and then add pepper/tomato paste. Stir for a minute and add tomatoes. Stir for 3-5 minutes
-Add collard greens and crushed peppers. Stir for another 5 minutes
-Add water and salt. Wait until it boils to add the rice, or the rice can be really mushy. Cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes. It’s ready to eat when the rice is cooked
-Serve with yogurt