Collards are such lovely greens and so under-appreciated, even in the South. That’s probably because we just think of them cooked traditionally: for a long time, served juicy with some vinegar sauce and a big hunk of cornbread and call it a good day. But they deserve more!
I’m in love with a variety of collards from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, called “Green Glaze” that are a gorgeous color with a shiny leaf that deters caterpillars a bit better than usual.
I’ve done collard quiche, collard soups and they are wonderful. Now, this traditional pairing with cornbread—but cooked lightly so they are green and flavorful alongside delicious pork sausage from Summer Kitchen Farm…this dish is my new favorite.
Now and then I stumble on a really good recipe. And then sometimes I add a few tweaks of my own and sometimes it’s a winner. This one is a “winner” in our house….barely had time to snap the picture above before it was gone!
Larrapin Sausage, Collards & Cornbread CasseroleSausage & Collard Filling: 1Tbsp Olive Oil 1lb local sausage (ground or cut-up links) 2 med onions, chopped 1 cup bell peppers (red is prettier) de-seeded and diced 1 cup chopped celery (optional) 4 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped finely 2 large bunches of collards, washed, large stems removed, chiffonade cut. 1-2 cups cups chicken stock salt & pepper 1Tbsp cider vinegar Filling Directions: In a large, heavy bottomed pot heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage and heat till browned. While browing sausage, chiffonade collards. (To chiffonade: stack several washed collard leaves at a time — with large stems removed — on each other, roll up, and slice on the diagonal into thin streamers.) Remove sausage to drain, leave remaining oil in pot. Put onions, peppers, celery into pot over med heat till softened. Add garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes. Add collards as they will fit in the pot and stir to wilt. Add more till all are in. Add 1 cup chicken stock to pot to simmer. Keep turning collards in stock till tender (around 5 minutes). Add more stock if needed to moisten. Add sausage back to pot and add cider vinegar. Stir together and add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a sprayed 9 x 12ish casserole pan in a layer 1-2 inches thick (depending on how many collards you had and the size of casserole pan you have.) Make cornbread topping batter below. Cornbread Topping (Madelyn’s Cornbread recipe) 1 1/2 cup cornmeal (organic) 6 Tbsp flour 5 tsp baking powder 1 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp sugar 2 Tbsp oil (canola, vegetable) 2 eggs, beaten 2 cups buttermilk (or plain kefir) Topping Directions: Sift together dry ingredients. Add liquid ingredients and stir till just mixed. Pour/smooth cornbread batter thinly to cover filling in casserole dish. (It’s ok if some shows through.) Bake casserole 30 min at 350 or until cornbread is golden brown on top. Get a nice big helping that a farm hand would love. Good with a simple garden salad on the side. Yum. ( Adapted from a recipe by Ben Barker at vegetablegardener.com )
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