- 3 large bunches (about 2 pounds) collards or turnipÂ greens, trimmed of coarse stems
- 4 ounces fatback, rinsed well to remove excess salt,Â then quartered
- ÂĽ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 to 1Â˝ cups water, if needed
Choose tender young collards if you can findÂ them; they wonâ€™t need a full hour to cook, perhapsÂ only 30 or 40 minutes. Traditionalists, however, likeÂ their greens â€śwell done.â€ť
- Remove the coarse central veins from theÂ collard leaves, then stack 4 or 5 leavesÂ Â together and slice crosswise at 1-inchÂ intervals. When all of the greens have beenÂ prepared, wash them well in severalÂ changes of cool water.
- Â Pile the greens in a large nonreactive kettle, add the fatback and pepper, cover, andÂ cook over moderate heat 15 minutes. StirÂ and if the greens seem dry, add 1 cup of theÂ water. Cover again and cook 15 minutesÂ more. Stir and if most of the water hasÂ evaporated, add the final Â˝ cup. Note:Â Young collards and turnip greens may beÂ done after 30 minutes.
- If the greens are not good and soft, coverÂ again and cook 15 to 30 minutes longer.
- Serve in soup bowls with plenty of â€śpotÂ likker.â€ť Accompany with fresh-baked cornÂ bread and a cruet of cider vinegar to drizzleÂ over the greens.