Collard Greens Gratin

In my family, Thanksgiving is always a challenge to see how many pounds of butter and pecans we can pack into one meal. The number is a source of pride among the cooks, but it should never be shared with the guests. When anyone asks why all these vegetables taste so amazing, we answer with a wink and a smile. Case in point: Collard Greens Gratin. Besides herbs, collards are the only vegetable in my garden I’ll have ready to pick for Thanksgiving dinner. This is the most decadent way to cook homegrown greens, but on Thanksgiving, I submit to the challenge. There will be no raw vegetables or salad on our table. All vegetables must be thoroughly cooked and smothered. Use any greens you have, or a combination (I especially love a little bit of mustard greens mixed in). Blanch them quickly, then drain and chop. Sauté in plenty of butter with a Vidalia onion. Add a little garlic, some fresh thyme, then swirl in cream spiked with freshly grated nutmeg. Top with fresh breadcrumbs and cheese, then bake. Like all good Thanksgiving side dishes, this can be done hours or even a day ahead. Right before serving, top with chopped pecans and bake until brown and bubbly.I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family and friends and an unspeakable amount of butter and pecans. 😉

Collard Greens Gratin
  1. 2 pounds collard greens, tough stems removed, torn into pieces
  2. 3 tablespoons butter
  3. 1 Vidalia onion, diced
  4. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  6. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  7. 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  8. 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  9. salt and pepper
  10. 2 slices day-old bread
  11. 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  12. 1 cup coarsely grated fontina, gruyere, or aged white cheddar
  13. 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Blanch greens in a pot of lightly salted water for about 2 minutes. Transfer to an ice water bath, then drain. Give them a squeeze, then transfer to a cutting board. Chop the greens into pieces. Separate and loosen any tangles.
  3. Melt the butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the greens, garlic, and thyme leaves.
  4. In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk the mustard and nutmeg into the cream. Slowly pour the cream into the greens, stirring well. Season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and allow it to cook for about 8 minutes.
  5. Tear the bread into small pieces and arrange over the top. Sprinkle parmesan and fontina evenly over the top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese begins to bubble and the bread is golden.
  7. Just before serving, sprinkle with pecans and bake until deeply golden (about 10 minutes).
Suwannee Rose

8 Comments Collard Greens Gratin

  1. Misti November 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    OMG I wish I had collards ready already! Next year I’m going to sow fall crops under lights in August so I can have these ready for Thanksgiving. Well, in a few months, I know what I’m making!

    1. suwanneerose November 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      Hey Misti! I wish I had a setup for lights so I could jumpstart everything, too. The collard seedlings went in the ground the first week of October. They’ve needed extra water since it has been so hot. They’re big enough now that I can pick some medium-sized outer leaves here and there from each plant and *maybe* get two pounds. I’ll do a garden post soon. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Dorothy November 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Wow! I can’t wait to try this!

    1. suwanneerose November 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      I bet you’ll like it!

  3. coley November 16, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Give me any vegetable in gratin form and watch me devour it whole. I agree with you about the mustard greens in this – yum.

    1. suwanneerose November 20, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Thanks, Coley! I’ve got to try it with all mustard greens one day. Happy Thanksgiving! I’m making your cranberry & meyer lemon pie tomorrow. I might even make two so I can leave one at home. 😉

  4. Kelley November 23, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    This sounds delicious!

    As does the cranberry and lemon pie. 🙂

    1. suwanneerose November 28, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving, Kelley! Your sweet potatoes are still my #1.


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