I’m not a superstitious person. I sit in the thirteenth row, I spill salt almost daily without flinching, I’d even happily host an indoor open umbrella dance party. But my cynical heart goes pitter-patter at the idea of the New Year’s Day dinner tradition of lucky food. The prospect of a little control, however imaginary, over the impending cache of joys, disappointment, and drama of the coming new year feels hopeful.
According to popular folklore, if these foods are eaten on New Year’s Day, they ensure good fortune throughout the year:
You are what you eat. And it couldn’t hurt to eat a delicious meal that might produce a little scratch, right? Here’s my recipe for delicious collard greens; click here for Alicia’s take on Hoppin’ John to round out your lucky meal.
I once believed the two secrets to delicious collard greens were bacon and time. Recently, I’ve learned that although delicious, red wine vinegar or very good quality apple cider vinegar brings the perfect tang.
Before you get started, see this video on the best way to clean collard greens:
12 slices very good quality bacon, sliced thinly
2 medium onions, finely sliced (think half moons)
6 cloves of garlic, smashed but not chopped
90 ounces of stock (I like veggie or pork stock, if you used boxed, use salt free)
3 pounds collard greens
1/3 cup good quality red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey, sugar, maple syrup or sorghum
1 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch red pepper flake
Cook bacon in a 10-qt. stockpot over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until crisp. Remove the bacon, but leave the fat in the pan. Add onion, and sauté until the onions are translucent; add smashed garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth and all ingredients but the vinegar. Cook 2-4 hours or to desired degree of tenderness. Return the bacon and vinegar and remove garlic gloves right before serving. Before serving, taste and add a bit more salt if necessary.
If you wander down Del Ray’s, “The Avenue,” you won’t miss the farm-red building with a rustic fence bordering the patio. Stomping Ground opened two years ago and quickly became popular for its made-from-scratch biscuits and its neighborhood vibe. On weekends, excited guests line up before Stomping Ground opens hoping to be the first to get a just-out-of-the-oven biscuit or a fresh salad. Stomping Ground is mostly known for its fast casual breakfast and lunch but on Thursdays and Fridays they provide a full dinner service after 5:00pm. All meals are built from local, seasonal food that is organic whenever possible.
2309 Mt Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301