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The Best Greens in the Burgh

Brussel sprouts, spaghetti squash, kale: they’ve all had their 15 minutes of fame but collard greens have managed to inspire their very own competition here in Braddock, PA. The 5th annual Collard Greens Cook-Off will be taking place Saturday, November 14th at the Nyia Page Community Center. The Gardening Program with Braddock Youth Project (BYP) will be hosting this neighborhood collards contest to raise money for their community organization.

Partake in 3 hours of all-you-can-eat collards and sides for only $5. And while you’re eating enough delicious greens to last you a lifetime, sign up for the raffle and silent auctions featuring huge gift baskets, tickets to cultural events, as well as original artwork by BYP youth and other local artists.

If you’re looking for a little competition, be sure to sign up for the cook-off. For $5 you can enter your own personal take on collard greens and have a chance of winning up to $200.

In honor of the most diverse vegetable in the cruciferous family, we’ve included our favorite greens recipe in hopes of inspiring all of you to whip up your own batch of collards this Fall.

Flickr/ Julia Frost

Flickr/ Julia Frost

Bacon Glazed Collards

Recipe by Julianna Bagwell

Ingredients
6 strips of thick cut bacon*
2 pounds of collard greens (stems cut off)
2 medium shallots, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar*
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Sriracha or hot chili oil
1 cup of chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
*Buy thick cut bacon directly from your butcher.
*If desired, substitute maple syrup or honey instead for brown sugar.

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon in a saute pan and rub with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and Sriracha. Bake for 10 minutes. Bacon should be just barely browned on the edges and still raw-looking in the middle.

While bacon is cooking, complete all vegetable prep work. Cut the collard greens into 2-4 inch slices. Prepare chicken broth.

Place stockpot on stove over low heat. Add chicken broth. Cover.

Remove bacon from the oven and set aside. Carefully pour off bacon fat into a small heat proof container and reserve 1 tablespoon to add back in. Heat the pan over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened and translucent. Stir frequently. During this time, cut the cooled down bacon strips into 1/2 inch pieces.

Add the bacon, garlic and remaining sugar to the pan. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. At this point you will use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan by scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom so that they can be infused into the vinegar. Cook until the liquid is reduced by about half.

Add the contents of your pan into the pot of broth and cover. Clean the sautee pan and place over medium-high heat. Add enough reserved bacon fat to coat the pan. Sautee the greens in small batches and stir them into the stockpot as each batch begins to soften and wilt.

Salt and pepper to taste and cook until greens are tender. Season to taste with additional vinegar, brown sugar, and Sriracha as needed until s nice balance of sweetness, heat, and acidity is achieved. Garnish with sliced fresh red jalapenos.

About Julianna Bagwell (104 Articles)
Julianna Bagwell is the Managing Editor for LOCALpittsburgh as well as a freelance writer for various publications including Thrillist.com. At her core, she is an extreme foodie and dog enthusiast.

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