Southern Appetizers Cookbook Giveaway

A picture of a recipe from Southern Appetizers by Denise Gee

Creamy Collard Greens Spread
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound fresh collard greens, washed, trimmed, and coarsely chopped (see Cooking Note)
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper vinegar or hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package regular or light cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • ½ cup regular or light sour cream
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyère, Emmentaler, or smoked Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place paper towels on a plate, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp; let bacon drain on the prepared plate, reserving the drippings in the skillet.
  3. Add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the collard greens, garlic, and vinegar (if using); cover and cook the mixture until tender, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, Gruyère, and Cajun seasoning to the collard greens mixture, stirring to combine. Crumble the cooked bacon into the mixture, removing any fatty parts of the bacon, if desired. Spread the collards mixture into a 1½-quart baking dish.
  5. Bake, uncovered, until thoroughly heated, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cooking Note: Commercially bagged collard greens are pre-washed and trimmed, which is a major time-saver. To use a fresh bundle of greens, clean the leaves by soaking them, sometimes several times, in cool to lukewarm water. Use a wooden spoon to swirl them around to help dislodge any residual grit clinging to them, completely draining and cleaning the sink in between soaks. Once the leaves are clean, fold each one along the thick center rib, tearing away the leaves before discarding the tough stalks. Stack the leaves and coarsely cut them into 1-inch-wide pieces.

Southern Lady Entertaining Tip: For a pretty presentation, stir the dip after baking and transfer to a favorite serving piece.