Collards are another "Green," They are just a little tougher, but less bitter than kale and can be used in a variety of ways. While I know that many cook them for a very long time, I like them more "al dente." My typical prep is:
Wash well to remove sand. Remove the hard ribs and cut the leaves into 1/2 inch ribbons. If the ribbons are more than 6 inches long, you may want to also cut them in half - 1 large bunch collards should yield about 4-6 cups strips.
Saute 1 chopped onion in olive oil until just starting to brown. Add rinsed greens, 1/4 cup water, a splash (2 tablespoons) of good vinegar (I usually use American commercial grade "balsamic" vinegar, but cider vinegar would also be good). Cover tightly and allow the greens to steam over medium-high for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
These go very well served with roasted sweet potatoes/yams and corn bread, perhaps with some nuts or cheese on the side for a vegetarian dinner.
P.S. Sorry, I also don't know if you can find them in the UK - I'm in the mid-Atlantic region of the US were there are enough southerners to make them easily available. Not to mention that they are easy to grow in quantity so my CSA has them a lot.
I don't know about the UK but here they are mainly grown and eaten in the south (soul food) A tough dark green leafy veg. I have always cleaned them very well, and boiled them all day with bacon or smoked turkey wings. They are delicious with hot sauce or whatever you like.
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