Sunday, 2 October 2011 | 50 comments

Collard cobbler with cornmeal biscuits

As a gardener, this time of year is just plain nice. My autumn garden has barely been put into the ground, so there’s no real stress involved yet. But there are still fruits coming in; you just have to be alert enough to pick them—-a few errant cherry tomatoes, some dried bean pods lingering, and one stubborn yellow squash vine that is convinced it’s still July. The dark horse winner of my garden this year has been collard greens (the variety is “Champion”, so perhaps I should have expected that?).I’ve been eating these collards for awhile now, but they just keep on coming as I harvest them. There are only so many ways to eat greens, you know?With 3+ pounds of greens harvested, more coming in, and no true cold snap in sight, I needed a way to make greens the main event. So I did what all of us 21st-century people do when faced with a dilemma: I googled. This Food & Wine recipe caught my eye. We don’t often see savory cobblers, but it’s a brilliant idea that I want to adapt for other ingredients in the future. The cornmeal biscuits on top are a stroke of genius, giving it a Southern-inspired, rib-sticking feel. I couldn’t help but add buttermilk. It seemed too right. Grace Parisi’s recipe was pretty heavy on the pork products, but I cut it back a lot. I was inclined to leave it out entirely, but when you pass by this place on the way home, it’s exciting to find an excuse to buy Andouille sausage. (I’ve put some veg-friendly suggestions in the recipe, though.) This recipe is liberating for the fact that you cook those collards down into submission. The refrain, “Sauté the greens until just wilted, because they’ll continue to cook after you remove them from the heat,” goes out the window here. These collards get a 30-minute simmering until the smoky, spicy mixture thickens, leaving you with an amazing base upon which to bake the cornmeal biscuits. It’s okay. Leave crisp-tender and al dente behind, just for today. You won’t regret it.

Collard cobbler with cornmeal biscuits

Adapted from Grace Parisi via Food & Wine
For vegetarian friends, you will need to make up for the fat in the sausage if you omit it with a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil. The spiciness from the Andouille should be replaced also, so crumble in a dried chile or two, or add red pepper flakes to taste. I’d also recommend adding in some sort of protein for earthiness, like a mixture of baby bella and porcini mushrooms.

You will need

For the biscuits:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the collards:
About 1/2 pound Andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced about 1/2-inch thick
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
3-4 pounds collard greens, thick stems removed and sliced into 1-inch ribbons
1/2 cup milk or cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Make the biscuit dough: In a food processor, pulse flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, honey, and butter until the butter is in pieces about the size of small peas. Add the buttermilk and pulse until it forms a mass. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead a few times until the dough completely coheres. Roll the dough out about 3/4 to 1 inch thickness. Slice into square biscuits. Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the refrigerator.

Saute the sausage in a big, thick-bottomed pan until fat is rendered. If there doesn’t seem to be much fat, add in a glug of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and continue to saute, stirring, until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add the stock or broth and bring to a boil. Add the ribboned collards in batches, stirring after each addition. Lower the heat and simmer for approximately thirty minutes, until the mixture is a bit reduced and collards are very tender.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the milk and the cornstarch slurry into the collard mixture, allowing it to simmer a bit more, uncovered, as it thickens up. Taste for salt and pepper and season if necessary.

Pour the entire mixture into an oven-safe glass or ceramic dish (if the pan in which you’ve been cooking can go in the oven, you can leave it in there). Remove the biscuits from the refrigerator, and lay them on top of the mixture, with the corners overlapping if possible. Grind black pepper over the biscuits. Bake the dish in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until biscuits are deep golden brown and collard mixture is bubbly.

Let the cobbler rest for 10-20 minutes before serving it up in warm bowls. This dish goes very nicely with a cold brew.

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§ 50 responses to Collard cobbler with cornmeal biscuits

  • just bought a square biscuit cutter yesterday…how fortuitous

  • This sounds delicious. I’m crazy about collard greens, and those cornmeal biscuits look too good to pass up. What a great early fall dinner! I’m glad your garden has given you such bounty.

  • sounds so yummy! i’ll admit that i am not a huge collards fan, but this may make me try them again. :)

    • Jenna, you should definitely try them out. I never really understand why people love the kale and chard but not collards—they’re milder-tasting, to be honest.

  • I must admit I usually grab for the chard at the farmers market before collards, but this looks fabulous. I can imagine this being the perfect pot to set down before a big family with good wine and conversation. I’ll be sure and return for some of this “rib-sticking” loveliness, soon. I should also mention my awful, immature jealousy of your garden. Lingering crooknecks and anything else you’ve got cookin’ in there sounds like a dream to me. One day. One day.

    • Garden envy is natural, I think. There’s always someone with a bigger/prettier/more well-kempt garden :) If you don’t like collards, I think this could work well with chard, too. And yes, to the wine and conversation…but honestly, that’s my favorite with any meal :)

  • Ali

    I envy your garden :) seems yo got a lot of harvesting going there, my garden’s just filled with flowers :) the collards look great. Love the ost

  • I’m making it tonight! We try to stay away from corn in our family and I’m a bad bad baker, do you think we could sub buttermilk biscuits or should we just go for the corn?

    • Mmm, I really like the flavor of the cornmeal, but if you stay away from corn, go ahead and use a different kind of biscuit. I think even a drop biscuit would work here. Adjust the cooking time to when your kind of biscuit gets browned, though.

      Let me know how it turns out!

  • This sounds amazing. I cannot wait to try it! I might even try to throw a ham hock in there (and some peppers) since I haven’t been able to find good andouille around where I live. Thanks for the recipe and delicious-looking pictures!

  • Wow, this looks pretty grand. Is it in this month’s Food & Wine? I’ll have to look…

  • We made this last night, subbing crimini mushrooms for sausage and adding a big ole chunk of butter. It was fantastic, but WAY too rich for us. We’re going to make wild rice tonight and eat it with the leftovers and hopefully that will soak up some of that richness. Maybe it was from the chicken stock I used (a whole day of boiling down a roasted chicken)…anyway, once I tweak this, I think it will become a regular family fall recipe.

    • It is rich. But I’m glad that it worked out with the (untested) veggie options I wrote in. I bet it would be awesome served over brown or wild rice.

  • Hi Sarah! I recently found your blog and am a total convert! What a beautiful space you have carved for yourself here on the ol’ internet! I am making this savory cobbler as I type this and it smells divine! Thanks for sharing this!!!

  • The cobbler looks amazing. I’m always looking for more ways to feed my boyfriend vegetables, and with those biscuits on top, I don’t think it would be a problem. I think collards are great, but he’s often sceptical about heartier greens.
    Are collards hard to grow? There’s talk in my building of starting a little communal vegetable garden out back next year.

    • Hey Katie—-so, it’s become this running theme in these comments that people pick chard or kale over collards, and I have to admit, I’m a little confused why. The leaves are thick-ish, but in taste they’re somewhat milder than other greens, really. I think maybe they have this boiled-Southern-sticky-mess reputation. They’re good, and in this recipe they get cooked down a lot.
      Also, they’re super easy to grow—-most greens are. You can start them as soon as the ground can be worked in early spring, and even re-plant again. Most greens like cooler weather. Chicago’s in zone 5b (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Chicago) and I bet you could grow them for a significant amount of the spring/summer. I’m so excited about your communal garden…is that weird, that I’m excited for you? :)

      • Yeah, I’m not sure why collards aren’t as popular as other greens. I’m not American, so I don’t make the Southern association. I’m sure they sell collard greens in Canada, but they were never really on my radar until I moved and they ended up in my CSA box. I found that they were nice braised in some veggie stock with a little onion, but I’m really excited about this cobbler. I’m hoping to make it before the end of the week.
        Thanks for the gardening advice. Do you have any general gardening resources to recommend, books or blogs, etc.? The only “gardening” I’ve done was as a kid playing with worms in the soil.

        • Will email!

          • I finally got around to making the collard cobbler last night. I invited over some friends who are also enthusiastic about greens, and everyone loved it. It was exactly what we wanted at the end of a cold, blustery, and wet day. I’m definitely looking forward to making it again soon.
            Just one thing–I did have a bit of trouble with the biscuit dough. After adding the buttermilk, the dough was a little too wet to knead and form square biscuits. Maybe this had something to do with the fact that I mixed the biscuit dough by hand rather than using the food processor. In any case, I ended up using a cookie scoop and dropping the biscuits in when the time came, and they came out beautifully.

          • So glad to hear it, lady! Greens-enthused friends are the best kind :) Weird about the biscuit dough. In my experience, I feel like the food processor would make a wetter dough than by hand because there is danger of working it more—-sounds like you carried it off with aplomb, though. I’m happy for the feedback; thanks.

  • karen

    Hello, I made a vegetarian version of this recipe, I used some chipotle in adobo for some heat, and added smoked tofu after the collards had cooked for 30 minutes. We loved it!

    • Glad you didn’t skip on the heat! The andouille was a special-occasion ingredient for me, so I’m lhappy that all the veggie attempts have worked out so far. Thanks for letting me know, Karen, I love feedback like this.

  • Yum want, gonna try this but without the sausage, think it will still be good?

    • Yup. A lot of people above tried it with my suggestion of subbing in some chopped mushrooms and oil and said it turned out great. You can still get collards at the market, too.

  • Amanda

    Wow! This was so good! I just recently found your website and I love it! Your pictures are great and the dialogue here is wonderful.

    This is my first recipe to try and I know there will be more. I was worried my boyfriend would be over the greens, but this will definately go into rotation. He could not stop raving! Thanks for sharing!

    • I love comments like this, Amanda. Thanks so much for leaving a note—I’m glad you liked it. (It’s funny how many people have written to tell me ‘I thought my boyfriend/husband/significant other wouldn’t like this, but they did’, etc. Makes me laugh :) )

  • This looks fantastic — I cannot wait to give it a try. It was reocmmended to us by our former worker and collard-picker extraordinaire, Claire, who says she made a vegetarian version with cumin and sundried tomatoes.

    Wondered if you’d seen/tried this tomato cobbler from Joy the Baker? Another savory cobbler in the same vein as this — definitely worth trying once tomatoes are back in season! http://joythebaker.com/2012/07/summer-tomato-cobbler-with-blue-cheese-biscuits/

  • Wow, what a delicious meal! My husband turned up his nose at the name, but he enjoyed it very much. Thanks for providing a great answer to “what else can we make with all these collard greens?”

  • Somebody necessarily lend a hand to make critically articles I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I amazed with the analysis you made to create this actual publish amazing. Wonderful process!

  • I just made this with only 1lb of the collard greens and it was delightful! I look forward to making it with even more of the collard friend :)

    Thanks for the suggestion. This was made in a cast iron skillet in the urbanest of settings and although a fall dish, it brought so much warmth in my little home!

    Yum.

  • Wowie-kazowie! Talk about good…
    Love, love, love this recipe! Thank you SO MUCH for posting it.

  • I’m so glad my recipe is still so popular! There are so many I’ve forgotten about. This one combines some of my favorite ingredients.

  • Sean

    Just came across this post. I was looking for a good way to use up all of my Collards from my winter garden. This sounds perfect. Will make it tonight.

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