Southern Style Collard Greens with Rosemary Bacon

In the south, everyone has their own way of cooking collard greens. My grandmother made hers with a ham hock and a dash of mustard, simmered in her crockpot overnight. This is my good health version of southern collard greens, lightly sautéed then seasoned up with rosemary, brown sugar, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!


Southern Style Collard Greens.jpg

2 slices hickory-smoked bacon slices, (thick cut)
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil (more for drizzle)
1 large thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 ½ tablespoons dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 large bunch collard greens, cleaned and cut into thin ribbons
1 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
1 cup shredded carrots


Heat ½ tsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the bacon; season with a dash of dried rosemary, brown sugar and black pepper. Cook the bacon until crisp and transfer it to paper towels to drain the grease a bit. Add the onions, capers, butter, and ½ teaspoon dried rosemary to the skillet; sauté for 3 minutes or until the onions are tender and slightly charred. And the brown sugar, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar; season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pan; pour in greens and cook over medium high heat uncovered. Season greens with remaining dried rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, liquid smoke, and light salt and pepper.

Let the greens cook for 2-3 minutes untouched, then toss with tongs. Cut the bacon into thin strips; add the bacon and onions back to skillet along with remaining vinegar and toss well. Reduce the heat to medium- low and cook, about 3 minutes (Don’t overcook the greens, they should be rich in color and have a tender texture).

Bring it together!

Remove the greens from the heat and toss with carrots. Taste and adjust with seasonings, if needed.


NOTE: This recipe yields four (4) servings.