Ethiopian Collard Greens in Tomato Sauce

July 06, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes Print This Post Print This Post

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My CSA delivery this week included collard greens. This recipe came from a cookbook that I checked out from the local library – Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World by Gil Marks.

In the write-up for this recipe, Gil Marks states that,

Ethiopians first boil the greens in salted walter to remove the excess bitterness, then, after draining, stew, cream, or puree them, the way that primitive cabbages were prepared in the ancient middle east.

I used one of the two adaptations presented. The original recipe included ginger and did not include the tomato sauce. Other adaptation of the recipe included farmer or pot cheese. I merged the original recipe with the adaptation. In the book, the adaptation is presented after the original recipe. My comments are italicized.

Ethiopian Collard Greens in Tomato Sauce
(Yeabesha Gomen)
Olive Trees and Honey

1 pound collard greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 7 cups)
3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2 red or yellow onions, chopped (I omitted these)
3 to 4 large chilies, such as Anaheim, seeded and chopped or sliced, or 1 to 3 small hot green chilies, seeded and minced, or about 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Tomato Sauce

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 plum tomatoes (I used one large tomato)
1 tablespoon white unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup water

– In large pot of salted boiling water, cook the collard greens, covered, until tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Older leaves may require a longer cooking time. Drain. Plunge into cold water, drain, and press out the excess liquid.

– In large skillet, [add the oil or ghee]. Add the onions and saute until golden about 15 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chilies and saute for 2 minutes. Add 4 peeled, seeded, and chopped plum tomatoes. (I did not peel my tomato.)

After cooking the tomatoes for 15 minutes, dissolve 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour in 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice in a small bowl, stir in 1 cup water, add to the pot, and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

– Add the greens, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I served this with the Ugandan Potatoes. Because both dishes featured lemon juice, they complimented each other but each did have different flavors and textures to make the plate interesting. The lemon and flour mixture with the tomatoes made a light and tangy sauce that I would like to try putting on pasta sometime.

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