Thai Curried Collards

  • 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

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