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Photo: Yunhee Kim; Styling: Robyn Valarik Photo by: Photo: Yunhee Kim; Styling: Robyn Valarik

Collard Greens with Guanciale and Chiles

Craig Stoll of Delfina in San Francisco jokes that the non-traditional greens with classic Italian seasonings make this dish "Southern/Italian--as opposed to southern Italian." It's worth it to track down guanciale--rich, sweet Italian-style bacon--and fruity, hot Calabrian chiles.

Sunset JANUARY 2012

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • Total:1 Hour, 15 Minutes


  • 1 cup (7 oz.) guanciale* or thick-cut bacon cut into 1/2-in. dice
  • 2 pounds collard greens, stems and ribs removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small dried chile such as arbol
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Calabrian chiles* packed in oil and vinegar or pickled piquillo peppers, thinly sliced


1. Bring guanciale and 3 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan, then cook at a rapid simmer 10 minutes (5 minutes if using bacon) to render some fat. Drain, reserving 2 cups water. Blot guanciale dry.

2. Boil collard greens gently in a large pot filled three-quarters full of water until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water, and drain again. Coarsely chop.

3. Cook garlic in oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat until sizzling, 2 to 3 minutes. Add guanciale; cook 2 minutes, then transfer garlic to paper towels. Continue cooking guanciale, stirring often with a long-handled spoon (it may spatter), until crisp, 6 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels.

4. Break arbol chile in half, add to oil in pan, and toast until puffed, 1 minute. Add greens, reserved garlic, and salt and pepper and stir until coated. Add reserved cooking liquid and cook over medium-high heat until most of liquid evaporates but greens are still juicy, 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Stir in guanciale. Spoon greens into a dish and scatter Calabrian chiles on top.

*Find guanciale and Calabrian chiles on amazon.com or from an Italian deli or grocer.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 186
  • Calories from fat: 76%
  • Protein: 5.3g
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 4.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 7g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Sodium: 284mg
  • Cholesterol: 16mg

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Collard Greens with Guanciale and Chiles recipe