Collard greens and black-eyed peas with fresh tomatoes make a most companionable trio, pulled together by a smoky heat provided by chile peppers and smoked paprika or barbecue seasoning.
Complete the meal: This stew-like dish is delicious served over cooked stone-ground grits, rice, or quinoa; or as shown here, on its own in shallow bowls with fresh cornbread (try this tasty Jalapeño Cornbread). Serve with a simple coleslaw as an accompaniment.
If you’re looking for the more traditional (yet still vegan) iteration of this combination of ingredients, see Vegan Hoppin’ John (Black-Eyed Peas and Rice).
In praise of 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.
And this detailed view of the nutrition profile of collard greens give 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.
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 10 to 14 ounces collard greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 to 4 shallots or 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 small fresh hot chili peppers, seeded and minced
- 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
- 3 cups cooked or two 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoons smoked paprika or barbecue seasoning, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Hot cooked rice, quinoa, or grits, optional
- 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 into thin strips. Chop the strips in a few places to shorten them. Give them a good rinse in a colander.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
- Add the collards and just enough water to keep the bottom of the skillet moist. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bright green and tender-crisp.
- Add the tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and vinegar or lemon juice. Continue to cook until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer, about 3 minutes.
- Season with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, then serve at once on its own in shallow bowls or over hot cooked grain.
Find lots more delicious vegan recipes featuring collard greens.
Are you looking for more ways to use all kinds of leafy greens? Recipe is from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas.
See lots more hearty vegan main dishes.