Couve a Mineira aka Brazilian collard greens with bacon is a crisp, garlicky, side dish full of bacon bits. This easy collard greens recipe is THE perfect mid-week side dish your familia will fall in love with.
Collard Greens & Brazilian Cuisine
As far as I’ve found out, Brazilians have been eating couve, you know, collard greens, since the colonial times when African slaves popularized this Mediterranean green, that was already a hit among the Portuguese. Since then, couve has remained one of the main staples of Brazilian cuisine, serving as base or accompaniment to many traditional dishes, from Caldo Verde to the traditional Feijoada (which I will show you some other time).
Couve is not only delicious, but also low calorie, and out of control nutritional. They are filled with vitamins A, B, C, minerals, potassium, calcium, iron…. Anyway, what’s not to love about this beautiful green?
If you aren’t very familiar with or don’t eat greens regularly, give this easy collard greens recipe a try.
You and your family will love it!
How to prepare Brazilian Collard Greens with Bacon
- Wash and pat dry the greens with paper towel
We don’t want the greens to be wet when they hit the pan as this would alter the end result of the dish. In this dish, the greens are gently sauteed to keep its texture somewhat firm. If there’s any water left in the leaves, the greens will steam instead and will become bitter.
- Cut off the thicker part of the stems
- Stack 2-3 leaves on top of each other, then roll them like a cigar, as tight as you can
- Then, thinly slice it into a chiffonade
This also step also helps prevent bitterness!
- Dice the bacon
Or not, if you need a vegan recipe, just skip this step!
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic
Or if you have that Brazilian sofrito ready in the fridge, use that and save a few minutes of prep!
Then, on to sauteeing it. Just heat up the oil, and cook the bacon until its crispy, then add the onion and the garlic until they smell oh-so-irresistibly delicious. And then… *drum roll*
The big secret for mastering this collard greens recipe is…
Turn off the heat then add the greens to the pan! Then quickly season with salt and pepper and toss until wilted a little bit. This step will make sure your greens have a nice bite to it, and aren’t bitter.
This side dish is perfect for a quick and easy mid-week dinner. It tastes great with rice, beans, a nice piece of chicken, meat, or just eat the whole thing just by itself… straight off of the skillet, because… I’ve done it, so I won’t judge!
Love couve? Check out these other collard greens recipes:
Couve a Mineira | Brazilian Collard Greens with Bacon
- 1 bunch of collard greens stems removed and thinly sliced
- 1-2 thick strips of smoked bacon diced
- 1/2 onion diced
- 2 colves of garlic minced
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium to high heat
- Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 3-4 mins
- Add the onions and cook until transparent, about 2 mins
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute
- Turn ff the heat and add the collard greens and toss gently until the greens wilt, about 1 minute