Braised Collards with Delicata Squash, OP Bacon, Cider Poached Cranberries, and Toasted Almonds

Recipe by TJ McConnaughey, Executive Chef at OPSE.

Recipe makes 6-8 servings.

Ingredients

2 Small Delicata Squash (Roughly 12 oz. each)

¾ tsp. Kosher Salt

3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Bunch Fresh Collard Greens (Roughly 12 oz.)

½ # OP Bacon, Sliced Thick

¼ Cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth

½ Cup Dried Cranberries

½ Cup Apple Cider

⅔ Cup Toasted Sliced Almonds

2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar  

Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Trim Ends of Squash and cut lengthwise to scrape seeds. Slice into ½” thick half-moons. Toss to coat with Olive oil and Salt, arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer with parchment or greased foil. Bake for 5-7 Min. until just barely soft. Let  cool
  2. Cut sliced bacon into small matchsticks. Render/Crisp bacon in heavy bottom pot or skillet over medium heat, 12-15 minutes. While bacon is cooking, wash and remove stems/ribs of collard greens. Roughly chop into 1”-2” sections. Once bacon is fully cooked and golden brown, remove from pan and drain on paper towel reserving fat and tasty brown bits in the pan.
  3. Braise Collard greens in bacon fat over medium heat till barely tender using chicken or vegetable broth to steam. (Use caution when adding wet greens to hot bacon fat, as injury can occur)  Cook greens, stirring occasionally till most liquid is evaporated.
  4. Place hot cooked greens in mixing bowl with roasted squash, and crispy bacon.
  5. Add cranberries and cider to pot, simmering on low heat till liquid is almost gone and cranberries are plump.
  6. Combine cooked cranberries with half of the almonds in the same bowl with squash, greens, and bacon.
  7. Drizzle with apple cider vinegar, toss to combine and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  8. Transfer to serving a dish of your choosing and top with the other half of toasted almonds.

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