Because we had a mild winter here in Georgia, I have the amazing good fortune of 6-8 surviving collard green plants in my garden. I planted really really late in the fall and they weren’t ready to harvest over the winter. Well, I could have harvested them, but they were quite small and I wasn’t feeling it. But now? Now, they are perfectly beautiful! The cool winter-spring weather has them all tender and just about ready to flower. They’re super tasty raw or cooked, so last week, I gathered a couple of bunches and cooked them into this tasty, quick and simple dish. Hope you’ll try it and enjoy it.
BTW, collard greens are super nutritious and easy to grow. They’re filled with fiber, vitamin A and C, and even provide a decent amount of calcium. Some people think they’re bitter, but when they’re picked young, they’re sweet. If you don’t like collards, you could easily make this with kale or spinach (but cut the cooking time a bit or you’ll over-cook them).
Cheese Tortellini and Collard Greens
- 1 lb frozen or dried cheese tortellini
- 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 3 slices peppered turkey bacon (I like Wellshire brand), chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium bunch of collard greens, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese, reserve a little for sprinkling on top
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the tortellini according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the EVOO to a heavy bottomed sautee pan (that has a lid) over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion and sautee for a few minutes, then add the garlic, cooking about 2 more minutes, but careful not to brown the garlic. Add the collard greens with a splash of water to the pan and stir well to coat with the bacon mixture, then cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, then give it a good stir, adding a little more water if needed to prevent sticking, and cover again leaving to cook for 3-5 more minutes. Finally, toss together the prepared tortellini, collard green mixture and the cheese. Adjust the seasoning to your taste and serve with fresh fruit.