Collards are quickly becoming the new “it” green and for good reason. Easy to find and packed with nutrients, they are unusually satisfying and hearty. Here, I give them a fast stir fry and then finish them in a red coconut curry. The sweet gentleness of the coconut plays beautifully off the richness of the dark green. I top the greens with crispy rings of fried shallots.
Cook to Cook: The collard leaves need to be stemmed, rolled up like a cigar, and cut into very thin slices -- a master technique called “chiffonade.” Splendid Table contributor Francis Lam demonstrates the technique in this quick video tutorial.
1. To make the crispy shallots, heat a wok or large heavy skillet over high heat until very hot, 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut oil and swirl to melt. Immediately add the shallots and stir fry until crispy, about 30 seconds. Remove them from the wok and place on paper towel to drain. Set aside.
2. In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to melt. Add the onion and stir fry until the slices start to separate and soften, about 2 minutes. Add the collards and stir fry until the onions are colored and the collards are soft and darkened, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the garlic, curry paste, honey, fish sauce and water. Stir to combine and simmer another 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer another 2 minutes to combine.
4. Serve in a shallow bowl with crispy shallots sprinkled on top. Serve hot or at room temperature.
"Vegetables are perishable, so we don't have any indication of what they looked like 500 years ago," says James Nienhuis, a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin.