Recipe courtesy of Turkey and the Wolf

The Collard Green Melt

Save Recipe
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 1 serving
Share This Recipe

Ingredients

Collard Greens:

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup minced fresh garlic 

1 cup sugar 

1 cup red wine vinegar 

1 cup rice wine vinegar 

2 tablespoons Korean red pepper powder 

2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, preferably Zatarain's 

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 tablespoon kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal 

2 1/2 to 3 gallons de-stemmed, washed and chopped collard greens 

Coleslaw:

2 packed quarts thinly sliced green cabbage

3/4 cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke's 

1/4 cup shaved white onion 

2 tablespoons white vinegar 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal 

Pickled Cherry Pepper Russian Dressing:

2 cups mayonnaise, preferably Duke's

1 cup roughly chopped hot pickled cherry peppers

1 tablespoon ketchup, preferably Heinz 

2 teaspoons Korean red pepper powder 

1 teaspoon hot sauce, preferably Crystal 

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal 

Sandwich:

Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the toast

3 thin slices seeded rye bread

2 thick-cut slices Swiss cheese 

Directions

Special equipment:
clean gloves
  1. For the collard greens: Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant and cooked through. Add the sugar, red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, red pepper powder, Creole seasoning, black pepper, salt and 1 cup water and cook until the flavors to meld and develop, about 10 minutes. Add the collard greens in batches if necessary, waiting a few minutes for the collard greens to begin to break down in the pot likker (the liquid in the pot) before adding the rest. Allow to cook over low to medium heat until you achieve the desired texture and the greens have an agreeable amount of salt, spice and acid, 2 to 3 hours. Let the collards cool in their pot likker and reserve until ready to prepare your sandwich. (This can be done a day or more ahead of time.)
  2. For the coleslaw: Add the cabbage, mayonnaise, onion, vinegar, pepper and some salt to a large mixing bowl. Wearing gloves, mix with your hands, massaging the cabbage to break it down in the mayonnaise. (It should yield less than a quarter of the original volume when it's all said and done.) Taste to make sure you have enough salt and vinegar. Reserve in the refrigerator, as it tastes best on the sandwich as a cold component. (This can be done up to a day ahead of time.)
  3. For the pickled cherry pepper Russian dressing: Mix up the mayonnaise, cherry peppers, ketchup, red pepper powder, hot sauce, paprika, black pepper and some salt in a bowl.
  4. For the sandwich: Brush some butter on both sides of each slice of rye bread and toast on both sides on a nonstick griddle or in a large nonstick saute pan. On two slices of bread, place a slice of Swiss cheese and allow to melt fully (covering the pan or putting a dome over the bread on the flattop will facilitate the melting process).
  5. Meanwhile, heat some greens in a saute pan. Place a handful of coleslaw on a cheesy slice of rye bread. Place the other cheesy slice of rye on top of that. Spoon your collard greens on top of that slice, being careful not to bring too much of the pot likker with them as this will make for a soggy end product. Dress the third slice of rye with a liberal slather of the Russian dressing and place it face-down on top of the collards. Cut it in half and serve.