Greens and fried eggs

What do collard greens and eggs have to do with each other?

Do collard greens and eggs have any common ground? Plenty as you will soon see. And since I am both a greens fan and an egg fan this is good news indeed. Because I like my friends to be friends. Even in the food world.

Do we need a little background here?

I grew up in the culture of the Deep South. That’s where collard greens, pot likker (that delicious broth in the bottom of the pot where you just cooked your greens,) and cornbread were comfort food at its finest. We preferred our greens cooked with hog jowl, ham hocks or good ‘ole fatback. In the latter years, #healthguilt – I’m pretty sure that’s a thing – led us to substitute uncured turkey bacon. (Really? Kinda sad.)

greens and cornbread

Southern Style Collard Greens with Salt Pork

So Where Do Eggs Come In?

Greens actually show up in a wide variety of cultural cuisines. Rovoltillo de huevos shows up on menus in Spain and Latin America. This marvelous version of Spanish scrambled eggs often includes mushrooms, salmon, chorizos, zucchini….and greens of various sorts. Here is a great creamy version that includes potatoes as well as greens. But wait. Why do they suggest spinach instead of collards? Here comes a quick regression.

Will the real greens please stand up?

Collard greens

Fresh Collard Greens

I particularly enjoy collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens. Gardening in Florida, these three vegetables love the short cool snaps, long hot season, and sandy soil. Moving to Pennsylvania I found that kale was more at home in our rich backyard soil. So location does influence usage.

Then again as I spent time on a cookbook translation project, I found that specific vegetables are often translated in recipes to general vegetables. Or they are translated to the specific one most used in the targeted area. In other words, go ahead and think “collards” when you read “kale” if that’s your preference.

This incredible migas recipe  for example, says to use kale. I just ignore it and blissfully wash my collards, knowing the spicy greens will give the recipe an added pop. Sorry kale lovers but truth is truth. And adding mozarella and chorizo? Great decision. Maybe you want to look at our mangú blog because migas and mangú are the perfect combo.

More lusciousness with collard greens and eggs?

These collard greens and scrambled eggs (yes, she actually uses collards) are a creamy, cheesy, mushroomy (is that a word?) morning delight. Or afternoon. Or midnight snack for sure.  Fried eggs and collards over polenta, found here, is an upscale version of collards and grits, but I have to admit it is scrumptious. And spiced collard greens with bacon and eggs, with its combination of cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, and cumin is heavenly. Do you want breakfast tacos with eggs and greens? I sure do. Because when you start adding cilantro I’m all in.

greens, eggs, and a bechamel

Fried eggs, collard greens, and béchamel sauce

Think You’re Too Sophisticated for Collards and Eggs?

If you think collard greens and eggs is a little too country boy for you, think again. Try your greens with a side of béchamel sauce. Or maybe these scrambled eggs and mustard greens on toast,  pardon me, on baguettes, will change your tune. As will Martha Stewart’s elegant fried eggs with greens and mushrooms topped with a sage and pepper sauce.

Dive outside of your comfort zone

I hope my love for collard greens and eggs has inspired you to give some of these recipes a try. Because collards and eggs have a great friendship that you don’t want to miss.