One of my favorite stalls to visit at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market every Sunday is New Morning Farm. The organic farm in south-central Pennsylvania produces fruit, vegetables, and herbs that are always colorful and flavorful. The other week, I received a Twitter message from the farm challenging me and some other local bloggers to create new recipes for the collard greens that are often overlooked at the market. Kale and spinach are now trendy, leaving collard greens behind in the dust. I was excited to get my creative (green) juices flowing. I’ve eaten collard greens before, but only in its most common southern-style form — slow cooked with a salty ham hock. I decided not to overcook it into a grayish-green oblivion, but instead keep the vibrant green color by wilting it with fluffy whole-wheat cous cous, tender chunks of acorn squash, and tart dried cranberries. The result was a flavorful dish for early autumn.
1 small acorn squash
*3 cups cooked whole wheat cous cous
1 bunch collard greens
1 medium sweet onion
1 cup dried cranberries
1 + ½ tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
salt to taste
Peel the squash and cut off the stem. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the two halves into small bite-sized pieces. Prepare the collard greens by washing them thoroughly, cutting out the stems and then rolling them into a bunch lengthwise and chopping them into 1-inch strips. Dice the onion. Heat ½ tbsp. of the ghee in a large pan over a medium flame. Add the onions and stir until they become a golden-translucent. Transfer the onions to a bowl and add 1 tablespoon ghee to the pan and melt before adding the cubed squash. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender when stabbed with a fork. Add the greens a stir until they just start to wilt. Remove from the heat and add the cous cous, onions and dried cranberries. Gently fold all the ingredient together to combine. Add salt to taste (but remember the bouillon already added some salty flavor).
*Follow the instructions on the box to prepare your cous cous, but instead of plain water, add the appropriate amount of vegetable bouillon for flavor.