Collards are such a great source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium and folic acid, that you’ll definitely be happy to add this super-quick recipe to your repertoire. Even folks who don’t like long-cooked collards will love them cooked this way. The recipe is adapted from one originally published in Fast, Fresh, and Green (Chronicle Books, 2010).

Serves 2

  • ½ large bunch collard greens, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Red pepper flakes 
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon honey (optional)
  • Parmigiano-Regianno (optional)

1. Separate the collard leaves from their stems by holding the stem with one hand and pulling the leaves away from it with the other. Rip the leaves completely in half lengthwise. Stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them up tightly cigar-style, and, using a very sharp knife, slice them across into very thin pieces (about 1/8-inch wide).

2. In a large nonstick skillet or nonstick stir-fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, fragrant, and just on the verge of turning brown, about one minute. Add a big pinch of red pepper flakes, stir, and add the greens and the salt. Cook, stirring to incorporate everything in the pan, until the greens turn bright green (at first) and then a darker green and are somewhat wilted, about one minute. (Cook slightly longer if you want some of the leaves to crisp. Press them against the side or bottom of the pan with a spatula.)

3. Remove the pan from the heat and taste. If you like, combine the sherry vinegar and honey in a small bowl, mix it well, and mix it into the greens. Alternatively, skip the honey-vinegar mixture and grate a bit of Parmigiano overall.