This wonderful Ethiopian preparation of collard greens, ye'abesha gomen, yields spiced, tender collards that are wonderful with injera, Ethiopian teff flatbread, or as an accompaniment to any meal. They can be made either dairy, with clarified butter (ghee), or parve, with oil.Yum
An easy dish to make that uses characteristically Ethiopian techniques, ye'abasha gomen is one of the most flavorful preparations you'll find for collard greens. It's wonderful alongside a celebratory Ethiopian dinner, served right on injera, and also makes a great everyday side to a vegetarian or meat meal.
Step 1: Blanching the collards
You can sometimes find collard greens bagged and chopped (look by the juicing greens in the produce section of your supermarket), or buy them as big, beautiful whole leaves. For this dish, you'll want to chop the leaves into strips and then again into squares. You can remove the thick center rib of the leaf if you prefer. What you see in the photos is bagged, pre-chopped collards with the rib left on.
The first step in the recipe is blanching (i.e., boiling) the greens in water to soften and cook them. It takes them about 10 minutes to cook enough for the next step, in which they'll get sautéed with aromatics and chili.
Step 2: Sautéing
Once your greens are nice and blanched, but still a bit bright, you can start cooking down the onions. After adding garlic and ginger, it's just a matter of letting everything meld in the skillet.
I like this dish with Aleppo pepper flakes for the heat, but you can use any chili flakes you like or have on hand, including crushed red pepper flakes. You can also reduce the amount to just a pinch if you prefer the dish with little heat. I'd say with the Aleppo as written below, the dish turns out mild to medium.
Looking for more Ethiopian recipes?
- Injera - Ethiopian Teff Sourdough Flatbread—the perfect serving vessel for this or any Ethiopian stew.
- Ethiopian Cabbage, Carrot, and Potato Stew – Tikel Gomen
- Ethiopian Stewed Yellow Split Peas – Kik alicha
- Ethiopian Spicy Stewed Red Lentils – Misir Wot
- Ethiopian Collard Greens – Ye’abesha Gomen
- Ethiopian Tomato Salad with Berbere
Ethiopian Collard Greens - Ye'abesha Gomen (dairy or parve)
- 16 oz collard greens, chopped - 450 g
- 1 ½ Tbsp ghee or oil - or niter kibbeh, Ethiopian spiced clarified butter or the oil equivalent
- 1 large onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp Aleppo pepper flakes - substitute any chili pepper flakes you like, such as crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp salt - or to taste
Blanche the collard greens:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chopped collards and cook until tender but still relatively bright green, about 10 minutes.
- Drain the collards and leave them to cool in the strainer.
Sauté with the seasonings:
- Dice the onion. Heat the ghee/oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute until well caramelized, about 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the skillet. Stir and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the greens to the skillet with the onion and toss to combine. Season with pepper flakes and salt. Saute for another 10 minutes or so, until the flavors are combined and the greens have softened.