This recipe applies many of the elements of creamed spinach to collards, but the results are markedly different. The collards retain their chopped shape and chewy texture, though you could cook the collards down to a purée and have creamed collards. A surprise addition to the sauce is nutritional yeast, which gives this a cheesy flavor. Pair the nutritional yeast with a dairy alternative instead of milk or cream and you have a vegan dish. Kale is good here, too.
1 bunch collards
1 c milk, cream, or dairy alternative
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 T nutritional yeast; or 1 T brewer’s yeast, or 1 T yeast extract; or 1 1/2 T grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 T lemon juice, optional
1 T cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 T water
1. Stem collards. Roll leaves into a cigar shape and cut horizontally (chiffonade). Either set in a steamer basket and steam until tender or bring a cup or so of water to the boil in a pot and add the collards, cooking them until tender.
2. Meanwhile, combine milk, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and lemon juice (this will curdle the milk and add a tangy edge to the sauce) in a saucepan large enough to hold the collards. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently to prevent any boil-over.
3. Combine the cornstarch and 1 T water in a small bowl, stirring to make a thin paste. Add to simmering sauce and whisk to incorporate. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened, a minute or two. Remove from heat if the sauce has thickened but the collards are not yet done.
4. When the collards are tender, drain if necessary and add to sauce. Heat through and serve.