Quick-Sautéed Collard Ribbons
1 Tbs. malt vinegar
2 tsp. maple syrup
1-1/2 lb. collard greens ( 1 bunch)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 small cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
In a small bowl, whisk the malt vinegar and maple syrup.
Trim the stem from each collard leaf with a sharp knife, dividing the leaf completely in half lengthwise as you cut away the stem. Discard the stems; wash and dry the leaves.
Stack half of the leaves and roll them up tightly crosswise into a cigar shape. Using a very sharp knife, cut the collard “cigar” crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Use your fingers to unfurl the slices, which will be tightly curled together. Repeat with the second half of the leaves.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and the garlic over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring and flipping the garlic, until it’s fragrant and just lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic. Add the pepper flakes, stirring to distribute in the hot oil, and immediately add the collards and 1/2 tsp. salt. Using tongs, stir and toss the collards until they’re coated with the oil, and continue tossing until they are slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Most of the greens will have turned a bright green, with some beginning to turn a darker green. Do not overcook, as they will become tough. Take the pan off the heat, drizzle on the maple-vinegar mixture, stir well, and transfer to a shallow serving platter. Serve immediately.