Mess o’ Greens Recipe
This recipe calls for collards, but any of your greens will be fabulous like this. Also note that we suggest rolling the leaves together and slicing them into 1/2-inch strips before cooking to avoid the mess and hassle later.
Adapted from http://whatscookingamerica.net/Vegetables/CollardGreens.htm
Collard greens (or Kale or Mustard Greens–Spinach and Swiss Chard cook faster)
1 large or 2 small ham hocks, or 1 package bacon, cooked
Salt to taste
Wash greens thoroughly, several times to ensure they are clean and free of insects.
Remove large stems. Place ham hocks in an extra-large pot with enough water to cover.
Add salt and cook at least 30 minutes before adding greens. Add collards, and bring to a boil. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour (maybe less if you cut them up first), stirring once about midway through. Test stems for tenderness at 45 minutes by piercing with a sharp knife. Cook additional time if necessary.
Remove from heat and drain in a colander, reserving the juice (pot liquor). Chop greens, leaving no large leaves or pieces (or do this before cooking like we suggested). Add some of the pot liquor if the greens are too dry. Salt to taste.
Serve hot or at room temperature with your choice of toppings, such as: hot pepper; vinegar; onions and vinegar (chopped onions and vinegar mixed together); salsa; small whole tomatoes.