Couve (Collard Greens, Brazilian Style)

Over-cooked collard greens are one of my pet peeves. 

Thankfully, Living with Brazilians for 3 years, I learned what I found to be a tastier and healthier way of preparing the collard greens (which are a top source of calcium according to the USDA). Couve (pronounced ko-vee) is a popular side dish that usually goes along with feijoada (black bean stew with various meats). It’s quick and easy to prepare:

(recipe adapted from one found at


1 large bunch of collard greens
2-3 cloves (or to taste) garlic, minced
salt to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil


Wash collard greens. Gather bunches of the leaves together and roll them up into a bundle. Thinly slice the bundles crosswise (across the stalk).

Finely chop the garlic.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet (cast iron works well) over medium heat. Add garlic and salt, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is just golden and fragrant.
Add the greens and sauté 3 or 4 minutes until they are bright green in color and starting to soften.
Serve warm.
Too Bitter?
If the greens are too bitter for your taste, you can try substituting Kale (another calcium-rich leafy green), that is a bit sweeter.

Another option is to steam the greens for 5 – 7 or 7 – 10 minutes. After steaming, toss the greens in the sauteed garlic and salt for a nice dressing! 

%d bloggers like this: