Here's a great way to get a smoky flavor in your greens without using ham hocks. This recipe will work with any type of greens, but you may need to adjust the cooking time.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
40 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large pot. Saute onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Place chopped collard greens in pot, and add water to cover. Stir in brown sugar, molasses and liquid smoke. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, or until greens are tender.

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Note

Liquid smoke is produced by burning hickory chips, then condensing the smoke into a liquid form. The liquid is then filtered to remove all impurities. You can find it in most grocery stores in the section with the barbeque sauce and steak sauce. Some brands are more concentrated than others, so use sparingly, and season to taste.

Nutrition Facts

116 calories; protein 4.1g 8% DV; carbohydrates 16.1g 5% DV; fat 5.2g 8% DV; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 33.2mg 1% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (57)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2006
In the rural South they grow more collards than they can eat. I end up with tons of them. As a Northener I have always been baffled their high eatin’ status. In truth too, lots of folks confess to disliking them. I cook them anyway with chicken broth, vinegar, smoked sausage, bacon, ham, whatever I have, including boiling them in plain old water with some salt. This recipe was such an unusual break from the Southern norm I had to try it. I have never thought about using onions, garlic or liquid smoke and never dreamed of molasses and sugar. Collards are bitter so people disguise their servings with the brine from pickled peppers (hot or mild-“pepper sauce” as they say) and a dose of the peppers. These are delicious without the pepper sauce. Not sweet, easy to make and no one will ever guess they are healthy without the usual greasy flavorings. Very rich and mellow with a satisfying “sneaks up on you” garlicy aftertaste. Thanks Billy, I finally found a way to make collards that I actually like instead of just endure. I’ll never go back! Read More
(68)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
01/01/2007
GREENS ARE TO BE PICKED OR CUT OFF THE STEM. WASHED VERY CLEAN (EVEN WHEN PURCHASED PRE- CLEANED). PUT IN A POT WITH ONIONS SEASONINGS A GOOD SMOKED PIECE OF MEAT SUCH AS HAM OR HAM HOCKS SUGAR IF COOKING COLLARDS TO CUT THE BITTERNESS AND COOKED SLOW ON A FLAME FOR AT LEAST 3 HOURS REPLACING THE WATER AS IT BOILS DOWN. AFTER THE GREENS ARE COOKED THEY ARE TO BE ABLE TO SIT REFRIDGERATED OVERNITE AND REHEATED WHEN READY TO BE SERVED. THIS PROCESS ALOWS FOR THE FLAVORS TO HAVE SET IN JUST LIKE YOU WOULD WITH A GOOD CHILI POT OF WHITE BEANS OR SOUP. THAT IS THE BASIC WAY THAT MOST AFRICAN AMERICANS COOK GREENS. BELIEVE YOU ME NO ONE IS GONNA WANT TO THROW THEM OUT COOKED THIS WAY! NO THEY ARE NOT FAT FREE BUT IF YOU DRAIN THEM BEFORE SERVING YOU GET THE FULL FLAVOR OF THE DISH AND NOTHING MORE. THEY ARE HEALTHIER THAN ANY CARB YOU WOULD SERVE WITH THEM. LIUID SMOKE MAKES FOOD LESS AUTHENTIC. Read More
(43)
70 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 34
  • 4 star values: 20
  • 3 star values: 9
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2006
In the rural South they grow more collards than they can eat. I end up with tons of them. As a Northener I have always been baffled their high eatin’ status. In truth too, lots of folks confess to disliking them. I cook them anyway with chicken broth, vinegar, smoked sausage, bacon, ham, whatever I have, including boiling them in plain old water with some salt. This recipe was such an unusual break from the Southern norm I had to try it. I have never thought about using onions, garlic or liquid smoke and never dreamed of molasses and sugar. Collards are bitter so people disguise their servings with the brine from pickled peppers (hot or mild-“pepper sauce” as they say) and a dose of the peppers. These are delicious without the pepper sauce. Not sweet, easy to make and no one will ever guess they are healthy without the usual greasy flavorings. Very rich and mellow with a satisfying “sneaks up on you” garlicy aftertaste. Thanks Billy, I finally found a way to make collards that I actually like instead of just endure. I’ll never go back! Read More
(68)
Rating: 4 stars
12/31/2003
These are greens with a slightly sweet taste which is different. I first made them with fresh collards which was very time-consuming to rinse trim and chop them. So I made them again using 2 boxes of frozen chopped collards which I thawed first. That was so much simpler and quicker!! Both times I simmered them at least 45 minutes (30 min. wasn't long enough). Read More
(64)
Rating: 5 stars
10/09/2003
O.k I cooked these greens on Saturday for my Sunday dinner (always cook Sunday dinner on Saturday), and they were the BOMB !!! For those of you that don't know what that means...it was great. I used fresh greens, and I made enought so that we can have some for Mon. & Tues. I still added smoked turkey, not much. Every year my family has a Christmas party, and this is the dish I'll be bringing. Read More
(48)
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Rating: 1 stars
01/01/2007
GREENS ARE TO BE PICKED OR CUT OFF THE STEM. WASHED VERY CLEAN (EVEN WHEN PURCHASED PRE- CLEANED). PUT IN A POT WITH ONIONS SEASONINGS A GOOD SMOKED PIECE OF MEAT SUCH AS HAM OR HAM HOCKS SUGAR IF COOKING COLLARDS TO CUT THE BITTERNESS AND COOKED SLOW ON A FLAME FOR AT LEAST 3 HOURS REPLACING THE WATER AS IT BOILS DOWN. AFTER THE GREENS ARE COOKED THEY ARE TO BE ABLE TO SIT REFRIDGERATED OVERNITE AND REHEATED WHEN READY TO BE SERVED. THIS PROCESS ALOWS FOR THE FLAVORS TO HAVE SET IN JUST LIKE YOU WOULD WITH A GOOD CHILI POT OF WHITE BEANS OR SOUP. THAT IS THE BASIC WAY THAT MOST AFRICAN AMERICANS COOK GREENS. BELIEVE YOU ME NO ONE IS GONNA WANT TO THROW THEM OUT COOKED THIS WAY! NO THEY ARE NOT FAT FREE BUT IF YOU DRAIN THEM BEFORE SERVING YOU GET THE FULL FLAVOR OF THE DISH AND NOTHING MORE. THEY ARE HEALTHIER THAN ANY CARB YOU WOULD SERVE WITH THEM. LIUID SMOKE MAKES FOOD LESS AUTHENTIC. Read More
(43)
Rating: 5 stars
12/31/2003
Great recipe. I couldn't believe I didn't have ham hocks or neck bones or any meat in it. It was a little sweet so I would cut down a bit on the sugar and molasses or else add a little vinegar. But really good and healthy too. Read More
(31)
Rating: 5 stars
10/09/2003
I LOVE Greens! I usually just cook em in salted water but this way gives em a real down home quality and a real good flavor! It's so easy too I rate it 5 stars! Read More
(22)
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Rating: 4 stars
10/09/2003
Yum. My 5 year old really liked these. The blend of sweet and smoky pretty much disguises the bitterness of the greens. I used canned collard greens because I was short on time and it was still very good. A TBSP of liquid smoke is quite a bit. Next time I will put about half that amount in. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
03/13/2003
I didn't think this was too sweet. I did really like it though. To me greens are plain simple down-home food - nothing fancy. Some folks don't like greens but they should eat them anyway cause they're good for you. I've had greens cooked with meat and thought they were sort of greasy. I like these a lot better. Read More
(16)
Rating: 4 stars
11/09/2008
Excellent basic collard greens recipe. Don't worry that the greens will be sweet because of the molasses and brown sugar- all they really do is cut the bitter taste of the greens resulting in smooth-tasting collard greens. There is nothing fancy about this recipe- it's just a really nice basic way to cook your collard greens for an everyday meal. I only rated it a "4" because the recipe should indicate that the stalk of the greens must be removed prior to cooking- a greens newbie would probably think the stalks are to be left attached like with swiss chard. Read More
(12)
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