I have always had a fascination with the South. The sweet drawl of the accent, the lush green vegetation, and the delicious comfort food. It’s beautiful and glorious and all American...well that’s what it appears to be from my California view at least. That being said, I have no Southern ties...no friend to send me fresh Georgia peaches or Southern grandmother who can cook some mean collard greens. So as you can imagine when collard greens came in my CSA box I looked at them and sighed...how in the world does a girl from California cook a vegetable that until now she thought was only found in the South? Damn....right that moment I wished I had a southern Grandma or Aunt or Paula Dean in my contacts.
So I perused the internet for some recipes only to discover that the typical southern collards took hours to cook! Nope....it’s was 7:30 pm then and I refused to eat collards at 10...besides I wasn’t sure if I would even like them. So I thought for a bit and decided if I cut them as small as possible perhaps they would cook quicker. Away I went chopping, sautéing, and seasoning. Twenty minutes later I was sitting at the dinner table staring at beautifully bright green strips flecked with light brown garlic slices. Orange and garlic filled with air...then wham my taste buds were hit with a delicious blend of sweet orange, bright collards, and zingy garlic. The garlic chips provided an unexpected crunch in each bite and the collards were tender yet retained their crispness. Also, the acidity in the orange helped to smooth the bite of the collards. “These are good....way better than I though they would be...they are great actually,” I thought. My dinner companions concurred and my ego was stroked. So for the next few weeks I got collards in my CSA box and each week I tested the recipe tweaking it slightly to result in the best California Collard Greens you have ever tasted.
1 bunch collard greens stem and main rib removed and chiffonaded into 1/4’’ thick strips
1 juicy orange
1 tsp orange zest
3 large cloves garlic sliced thinly
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp Real Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
*Here is a reminder why all of the ingredients should be organic.
- Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Once hot add sliced garlic and sauté until it is golden brown and crispy.
- Remove garlic from the pan and set on a paper towel to prevent it from getting soggy
- Turn down heat to med/low and add the chiffonaned collards to the pan, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and stir
- Cook for about two minutes to get a char on some of the greens
- Turn the heat up to medium and squeeze the entire orange over the collards, pour in the wine, and add the zest. Stir until well combined. The orange and wine sauce should be simmering at this point. Adjust the heat accordingly.
- Let cook for another 7-10 minutes depending on how cooked you would like them.
- Add half the garlic back in and stir.
- Taste and finish with a bit more pepper and salt if necessary. I choose to finish with Hawaiian Red Salt, find it here, for a little added crunch. Top with the remaining garlic chips once plated.
A Bit About Salt
Not all salt is equal and not all salt is bad for you. The typical table salt has additives and anti-caking agents. It is also washed and processed so it is devoid of any of the 60+ minerals naturally found in it. Don’t use this kind of salt...besides it tastes pretty strange in my opinion.
For my cooking needs I choose to use Real Salt, find it here. Real salt is true sea salt with all the goodness still in place. There are also other brands and types of sea salt that have the naturally occurring minerals intact, like Grey Celtic Salt and Himalayan Pink. They all have different flavor profiles and I find I like them all. However, Real Salt is from an isolated ancient sea bed in Redmond, Utah which has no chance of being contaminated with ocean water pollutants. It is unrefined and still contains the 60+ naturally occurring minerals. There are no additives and no anti-caking agents. Basically, it is pulled from the mine, broken down into desirable size and bagged for sale.
Real Salt is delicious and you can definitely taste a huge difference when comparing it to table salt. It is sweet and clean with no aftertaste. It looks different also, flecks of red and pink throughout a pale ivory base. For further information click here.
Medically speaking you may be surprised to learn that the wide spread recommendation of low salt diet for high-blood pressure treatment is now being questioned. In this study, as well as others, blood pressure reduction was pretty minimal when following a low salt diet. The blood pressure was reduced by only 3.5% in hypertensive and 1% in normotensive patients. Plus cholesterol and triglyceride levels increased in a low salt diet.
Also, quite interestingly, this study shows that when mineral rich salt, like Real Salt, is substituted for normal table salt blood pressure lowers by 7.5% as well as overall salt intake lowers. One of the reasons for this is most likely that mineral rich salt has high levels of magnesium, which by itself is responsible for lowering blood pressure. Once again, eating food as it comes from the earth shows to be best for our bodies. So, fear not of salt, when used properly it is a necessary part of a healthy diet. After all, sodium is a major component of our body fluids. Salt has been used for thousands of years to preserve, pickle, and season foods yet hypertension is a modern day disease. Perhaps, hypertension is partially related to the processing and refinement of table salt.
Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary or other types of compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I always give my honest opinion and findings of the products and would not recommend anything that I do not use for myself or family. All of the products recommended will adhere to the Standards of Clean, listed here.
1. Sarkkinen ES, Kastarinen MJ, Niskanen TH, Karjalainen PH, Venäläinen TM, Udani JK, Niskanen LK. Feasibility and antihypertension effect of replacing regular salt with mineral salt-rich in magnesium and potassium- in subjects with mildly evaluated blood pressure. Nutr J. 2011;10:88.
2.Graudal NA, Hubeck-Graudal T, Jurgens G. Effects of low sodium diet versus high sodium diet on blood pressure, renin, aldosterone, catecholamines, cholesterol, and triglyceride. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Nov 9;(11):CD004022. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004022.pub3. Review. PubMed PMID: 22071811.