There’s something so enticing about the sweet-and-pungent flavor of hoisin sauce enveloping the mild, earthy flavors of collard greens and sweet potatoes. Embellished with sweet red onion, this full-flavored side dish is welcome from early fall through late spring.
Complete the meal: Pair this delectable side with hearty salads, grain-and-bean combos, and hot or cold tempeh and tofu dishes. Here are some ideas:
- Super-Easy Avocado and Bean Salad, Barbecue-Flavored Tempeh Salad
- Barbecue-Flavored Tempeh Salad
- Hot and Cool Layered Black Bean Taco Salad
- Peanut Satay Golden Tofu Triangles
Hooray for Collard Greens
Collards may not get as much attention as kale, but they should be on your radar as a nourishing leafy green to enjoy regularly. Cut into narrow ribbons and briefly stir-fried or braised, this leafy green is a standout its mild, sweet flavor. Maybe this shouldn’t be surprising; collard greens belong to the family of cruciferous vegetables (which includes cabbage and broccoli), none of which are very appealing when overcooked.
The coolest way to cook collard greens (in my opinion) is to roll up the leaves, slice them very thinly, and stir-fry, sauté, or braise until just tender-crisp, retaining their vivid color and sweetness. Learn lots more about collard greens, plus a step-by-step for prepping, in this site’s Guide to Collard Greens.
This detailed view of the nutrition profile of collard greens gives you lots of good reasons to keep them in your rotation. A big plus for vegans is that they’re a good source of calcium.
Substitute other greens: Sweet potatoes and collard greens are a perfect pairing in this colorful stew; that being said, feel free to substitute an equivalent amount of kale or any variety of chard.
Photos at very top and just below by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 10 to 14 ounces collard greens
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup hoisin sauce, to taste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
- Freshly ground pepper or dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
- Cut the collard greens away from the stems. Stack several leaves at a time, roll up snugly from the narrow end closest to you, then cut them crosswise, resulting in thin strips. Chop the strips in a few places to shorten them. Give them a good rinse in a colander.
- Heat half of the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden and tender.
- Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise, then into 1/4-inch-thick half slices. Add to the skillet along with 1/2 cup water. Cover and steam until just tender but still firm, about 12 minutes.
- Stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and syrup. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook, gently stirring with a spatula. Add small amounts of water to continually deglaze the skillet, until the sweet potato is tender and nicely glazed. Season with pepper. Cover and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in another skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the collard greens and a small amount of water (just enough to keep the skillet moist); turn up the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until bright green and tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 to 4 minutes.
- Remove the collards from the heat and gently stir into the skillet with the sweet potatoes. Taste to adjust any of the flavorings. Serve at once.
Find lots more delicious vegan recipes featuring collard greens.
Are you looking for more ways to use all kinds of leafy greens? This recipe is from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas.
Here are lots more veggie-rich salads & sides.