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A Christmas miracle has occurred, two days late.
I’ve finally found a way I’ll eat collards.
Yesterday I was cleaning out my fridge when I discovered that I had five pints of bacon grease scattered around on different shelves. Plus I had another full pint on the counter. I needed a way to clear it all out. I had a faint memory of a salad dressing made with bacon fat, so I went on a hunt. The same fridge clean-out also revealed bunches of collards and kale that needed using.
I never eat collards. As a good little Southern girl, I had them shoved down my throat, over-boiled and slimy, as a child. Complete with pot-licker. Since then, I haven’t been able to tolerate them, not even the smell of them cooking. Those types of memories die hard. My son, however, has different ideas. His great-grandmother cooked him some collards on a recent visit. On a trip to the store, he spied them in the produce department and started begging.
I tried to dissuade him. I pointed out the Brussels sprouts, the kale, even the cilantro. He would have none of it. He wanted collards.
This is, after all, the kid who recently threw a party in the produce aisle in Trader Joe’s over Brussels sprouts being back in season. This kid loves him some strong-tasting green stuff.
How could a mom say no to a kid begging for greens? I was getting crazy looks from other moms for even trying to talk him out of it. Their eyes said, “I wish my kids would beg for healthy foods!” Heck, I was even getting crazy looks from Jeff for trying to talk him out of it! “The boy wants greens, feed them to him!”
We went home with the collards, Brussels sprouts and kale in tow. I gave in. I intended to bring them home and let them wilt until I could throw them out, as I have several other times before. Just.can’t.do.it. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat them. And now I couldn’t throw them out, because he saw them during the fridge clean-out and the begging began anew.
So today, I decided I was going to clear my mind and give it a whirl. I broke out the greens and whipped up this little ditty with the extra bacon grease.
And I actually liked it.
Greens with Bacon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup bacon grease
1 Tbs raw honey
2 Tbs coconut oil
1 bunch of collards, thoroughly washed, stemmed and cut into ribbons
1 bunch of kale, thoroughly washed, stemmed and cut into ribbons
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
dash white pepper
In a large skillet or wok, heat the bacon grease over medium heat until melted. Pour into a small bowl. Whisk in the honey until the honey has melted and set aside.
Place the coconut oil in the skillet and allow to melt, then add the collards and the kale. Sauté, stirring constantly, until the greens are completely wilted. Add 1/4 cup water, cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes, or until the greens are completely tender.
Meanwhile, whisk in the red wine vinegar into the bacon grease mixture.
Salt and pepper the greens, then pour in the bacon vinaigrette and toss until completely coated. Serve immediately.