Author Notes: This is my version of the yummy side dish I first tried in Brazil at 19. My sister was there studying abroad, and her friend Thais’ family prepared a huge feast for thier New Year’s Eve party, which we attended in our obligatory white dresses. It was December 31, 1999!
What I remember most were the side dishes: vinagrete & maiyonese because their names were the cutest. Vinagrete (Vee-nah-gretch-eee): the Brazilian version of pico de gallo, halfway between salad and condiment. Maiyonese (may-yo-nay-zeee), an extra creamy potato salad, but with the potatoes cut into tiny cubes (instead of big chunks, like we do in the states). And you could not eat anything without Farofa (toasted cassava flour) sprinkled on top.
Couve was delicious but mysterious to me. I imagined it was some exotic tropical green you could never get in the States until I went out to eat with my sister when she visited me from the West Coast a few months ago. Of course, she requested a Brazilian restaurant. I saw collard greens on the menu and of course ordered that. When it arrived at the table everything clicked! These were the magical greens I’d tried years before!
This is my version. —Anitalectric
bunch collard greens, shredded*
large cloves garlic, minced
tablespoons olive oil
tablespoons beer (optional)
teaspoon smoked paprika
sea salt, to taste
- *the easiest way to chop the greens is to stack the leaves, roll them tightly like a cigar, and chop the cylinder into thin shreds.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add oil and saute garlic with a pinch of salt until golden.
- Add greens and toss to coat in oil. Pour in beer, add paprika & salt to taste, and continue to toss greens, while allowing alcohol to cook off. They will cook quickly, and should still be tender when you remove them from pan.
- Divide between plates and squeeze lime juice over before serving.