as we are steadily moving through winter, the variety of vegetables in season is reduced to greens, cabbages, and root vegetables. not that i mind, of course. i would take dark leafy greens over most other vegetables any day, especially kale and collard greens. southern style greens are usually boiled with some porky product for hours until they are meltingly soft with an ample amount of pot liquor remaining. since i do not eat meat, i wanted to make a vegetarian version without the pork, but with all of the savory flavor. a vegan version for this style appeared in herbivoracious. the use of shitake mushrooms and good soy sauce or tamari is just the right ingredient needed for that umami flavor. the smoked paprika gives these greens an additional layer of flavor. i ate these on a sunday night with some cornbread and baked beans.
veganized southern style collard greens
1 large bunch of collard greens, cleaned, with the center rib removed and sliced into ribbons
1 small handful of fresh shitake mushrooms, cleans and sliced thinly
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion thinly sliced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 large pinch red pepper flakes
2 tsp or so good soy sauce or tamari
salt and pepper to taste
heat the oil over medium heat in your biggest pot. add the onions and the mushrooms and cook until they start to color. add the collards, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and about 1/4-1/2 cup of water. reduce the heat to low and cover and let everything simmer until tender, maybe 30 minutes at least. check periodically to see if the greens need more water. when the greens are cooked, uncover and turn the heat up and cook off some of the excess water. check the seasonings and adjust. it will most likely need more salt or soy sauce. yum.