This comes straight from my Brazilian friend Michelli, who dissects and prepares the collards like a surgeon. She does not use the stalks at all, and finely shreds the leaves. This helps both the cooking and the flavor, since there's more surface area to soak up the yummy garlicky oil.
- 3 bunches collard greens (about 3 pounds)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 9 cloves garlic, minced
- .25 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
Cut out the stems and center ribs of the collard greens, keeping the leaves whole. Clean the greens thoroughly by submerging them in a bowl or sink of water. Lift out and repeat the process until the greens are grit-free, then stack them, still wet, starting with larger leaves on the bottom. Tightly roll stacks of leaves lengthwise, like a cigar. Slice crosswise as thinly as possible.
Heat the oil and garlic together in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until the garlic is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the collard greens, folding with tongs so the garlic gets tossed with the greens and they start to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the salt and continue folding until the greens have all wilted and begin to release their moisture, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the collards to a serving bowl. Season with salt to taste and serve.