Spicy collard greens & rice

Sometimes I feel like a misplaced southerner. Granted, my potty mouth kind of gives away the fact that I’m most definitely not within 5 minutes of meeting me (sometimes a sentence is just screaming for a curse word, you know?). But besides that, there are so many awesome things about the south I can totally get on board with.

Sun and warmth.

Ya’lling people instead of addressing them as “yous” which New Yorkers seem to be fond of (let it be known I DO NOT use that expression).


Awesome accents. I’m really good at this too. Put me in a room with a bunch of southerners and I bet you wouldn’t be able to guess who the NY’er is in the room.

Chick-fil-A. My heart will forever be with their waffle fries.

How you can say “bless her heart” and then proceed to talk total shit about the person but it’s ok because you blessed them first.

And, collard greens!

For 28 years of my life I was ignorant to the amazingness of collards. I think I had them once before in Charleston, the same day I tried fried green tomatoes at some hole in the wall country restaurant (the best kind). Of course they were the ugly yellow green, cooked all day kind, with a ham hock and lots of vinegar which I just assumed was the only way to make them. And to be quite honest, that version just doesn’t do it for me.

I have no idea what made me buy them one day in the grocery store last year but I figured I’d give them a shot my way (i.e.not taking all day to cook and not coated in grease).

The trick to that is just removing the tough core and thinly slicing them. Smaller surface area, less time to cook.

If you want to punch me for getting all mathematical about collard greens, it’s fine. I probably would too.

Southerners definitely have the right idea with the whole vinegar thing though, that I’ll give them. These are sautéed with some olive oil and vinegar and then all fancied up with pine nuts, raisins, (don’t omit these. If you’re not a raisin fan find another dried fruit because the sweetness is key with this otherwise tart and spicy dish) lemon and spices. Tossed with rice and boom, you’ve got your vegetable and carb sides all together in one bowl.

It’s like dem gosh darn collards done grew up!

Consider this it’s debutante ball, ya’ll.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Spicy Collard Greens & Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lemony, spicy collard greens mixed with brown rice for a complete side dish.
Recipe type: side dish, vegetables, rice
Serves: 4 side dish servings
  • 2½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 large bunch of collard greens, washed, core removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add sliced collard greens, season lightly with salt & pepper and saute until cooked down slightly. Add lemon juice and continue cooking until just softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. While collards are cooking, combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add collards once done cooking and toss to combine.
  5. Season with salt & pepper to taste.


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  1. 1

    I’ve actually never had collard greens – I want to try them!

  2. 2

    Found you via Jessica’s blog! Great site and GORGEOUS photos!

    • 3
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      Hey Liz! That’s funny b/c I just found you and your blog this week through foodbuzz randomly. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. 4

    I have lived in Tx for 2 years and I am still pegged as a Yankee from my accent! I have started trying to sneak in some y’alls but I am still a fraud. Maybe I should start bringing these collards and some fried chicken to meetings lol.

  4. 5

    I hear you on the potty mouth. I have to really concentrate and NOT drop F-bombs on a regular basis!

    I’m strangely scared of collard greens (don’t know why) but these look so good that I may get brave enough and try them.

  5. 6

    love those bowls!!! looks delicious! i like leafy greens and rice together. i’m such a potty mouth too..i’m not aware when kids are around me (even if i am, i forget) so i drop f-bombs all the time and the s-word and the d-word..i’m just horrible. i bet my kid’s first word is going to be “sh!t” haha

  6. 7

    I love collard greens! Definitely bookmarking this recipe. Such a great idea to counter the bitterness of the greens with some dried fruit!

  7. 8

    Chic-Fil-A waffle fries are heaven, especially when dipped in BBQ sauce.

  8. 9

    haha totally agree about their ability to trash talk someone after saying “bless their heart”. I love it!

  9. 10

    I loveee Charelston! I’ve been three times and its my favorite southern city. But other than that I’m not sure I would fare well living in the south. Although I would love the weather I’m a northerner at heart. I love collard greens for using as wraps too, they hold up really well.

  10. 12

    Well you KNOW I love this post. :-)

  11. 13

    I’ve been making a similar dish with brown rice, kale and dried cranberries for the past few months and we love it, but I think I’ll have to try your version next because all the spices you’ve added sound delicious!

  12. 14

    I love collards and am always looking for new recipes! This sounds great!

  13. 15

    Somehow I’ve never had collared greens. I really need to change that!

  14. 16

    Glad to know I’m not the only one with a potty mouth. :)

    These look awesome!

  15. 17

    This post speaks to my heart! A New Yorker going to school in the South – and I absolutely love it!

  16. 18

    I think I was meant to be Southern too. Maybe I’ll just start saying “bless her heart” and hope people assume I’m from the south. If I’m eating a bowl of these collard greens they’ll never know the difference.

  17. 19

    I love collard greens and it regularly saddens me that they are almost never available up here in Canada. :(

  18. 21

    Sounds very good! I always think that everything that has lemon in it is great.

  19. 22

    I heart Chick-fil-a so much and we don’t have it either up here in Seattle. Sadness.
    I totally know what you mean about people saying “bless her heart”. We like to joke about it all the time. Funny how people are.

    • 23
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      I know, the farthest north they go on the east coast is southern jersey. I alone would keep them in business in upstate NY, I wish they would open one!

  20. 24

    Before we accept you as a Southerner, you gotta spell y’all right ;) Even though people spell it wrong all the time down here.

  21. 26

    PINNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you freaking rock my world! making these! SOON!

  22. 27

    ok and if you email me the deets on your photog setup i’ll love you forever. ever ever. please? These are the kind of photos I WISH I could take and am failing miserably =(

    • 28
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      your pics are awesome first of all! I usually want to jump head first into whatever I’m reading over there. I’ll email you though (once real life, read: job/co. mtg stuff ends tomorrow) :)

  23. 29

    I love collard greens so so much! Love the idea of adding in the raisins! My hubby is a Southern Boy – but he loves all the naughty Southern food like fried chicken, mac and cheese and anything covered in a cheesy cream sauce!
    YUM thanks for sharing!

  24. 30

    Thanks snickerdoodle!

    ps: how far are you from Jersey? =) I may be getting dragged north for a weekend in the spring

  25. 31

    Found some Collard Greens for the first time at the local Sobey’s store here in Edmonton, AB Canada. We grow Kale and Chard in abundance in our garden but have heard so much lately about the benefits of Collards that I wanted to try them. Both my husband and I loved your recipe. We didn’t find them bitter at all (our Arkansas born neighbor mentioned he found them a bit on the bitter side)…maybe we just got a good bunch of Collards. Got so enthusiastic after adding the lemon juice and spices that we didn’t bother with our toasted pine nuts and raisins. Adding this recipe to our bulging binder of vegan favorites. Thank you so much for the share.

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