Collards, and kale, do not immediately spring to mind as greens that can be creamed. Not only can they be creamed, but they’re delicious, and, to my mind, better than the standard creamed spinach, whose taste is so often lost in the richness of the sauce. Collards hold their own, easily.
A good way to chop collards, once they have been stemmed, is to layer several leaves, roll them up into a cigar shape, and cut them horizontally into thin strips. This is called chiffonade, and not only does the technique create elegant slices, but apparently the raw greens will not wilt as quickly as randomly chopped greens if they’re not used right away.
2 T butter or oil
1 onion, peeled, thinly sliced
salt, to taste
8 c collards, washed, stemmed, chopped; or other hearty greens such as kale
a splash of water or broth, if necessary
3/4 c heavy cream, or half-and-half
grated nutmeg, to taste; or other spices such as coriander or curry powder
ground (white) pepper, to taste
chile or hot sauce, optional, for serving
1. Melt butter or heat oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add onion and a sprinkle of salt, and sauté for about 8 minutes or so, until just beginning to brown.
2. Add collard to the pan, stirring to combine with the buttery onions. If the skillet seems dry, add just a splash of water or broth, not too much, as then the sauce will take longer to reduce. You just want to prevent burning of the greens. Cook, tossing, until the collards have wilted.
3. Add the cream, and stir to incorporate the cream with the greens. Keep this at a brisk simmer, stirring now and then. Add more salt if you’d like, the spices, and pepper. Once the cream has reduced quite a bit, but still coats the bottom of the pan, and the collards are done to your liking, remove from heat–about 5 or so minutes. Serve, with hot sauce, if you like.