- 7 to 8 cups collard greens, washed thoroughly, trimmed of stems and middle ribs (about 2 bunches)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1⁄2 cup minced shallots (1 to 2 bulbs, depending on size)
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger (about a 2 by 1-inch hunk)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons prepared Thai red curry paste, depending on how spicy you like things
- 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 lime
- 1 (13-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1⁄2 to 1 cup water
In small batches, stack the collards in a pile, roll up like a cigar, and cut into thin ribbonlike strips. (This technique is called a chiffonade.)
Over medium heat, heat the oil in a medium-size pot fitted with a lid. (A wok works great.) Add the shallots and ginger and allow them to dance in the oil and soften slightly, stirring frequently to prevent burning or sticking, about 3 minutes. Add the curry paste, stirring to blend everything together, about 1 minute.
In batches, add the collards, turning with tongs to coat with the aromatics. Collards need more time to shrink and wilt than do quick-cooking greens such as spinach and chard; it may take up to 10 minutes to turn and coat all of the greens. Season the greens with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt and a slight squeeze of the lime half.
Pour in the coconut milk plus 1⁄2 cup of the water; the level of liquid will be slightly lower than the vegetables. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture up to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the greens are as tender as you like them, 25 to 30 minutes. If you’d like a thinner sauce, add the remaining 1⁄2 cup of water while the greens simmer.
Taste for salt, and add more as needed, plus an additional squeeze of lime.
Serve in a bowl (with or without brown rice) so you can lap up some of the lip-smacking sauce.
Makes 6 servings
Excerpted from “The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations” by Kim O’Donnel by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright 2012