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 about.com)
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.
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!