Look at farmers markets to find small, tasty greens for this dish, such as baby arugula, curly mustard greens or watercress. They hold up well with the contrasting sweetness of the potato. Leftover collard butter is great on vegetables, as well as on pasta and white potatoes.
Make Ahead: The collard butter can be made up to 2 weeks ahead.
Storage Notes: Refrigerate the compound butter for up to 2 weeks; or shape it a log, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months.
FOR THE COLLARD BUTTER
4 cups water
2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 collard green leaves
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
FOR THE SWEET POTATOES
4 (12-ounce) sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons collard butter
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (1 ounce) tender, small greens, such as baby arugula, curly mustard greens, watercress or a lettuce or spring salad mix
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon aged red wine vinegar
Make the butter: In a large bowl, make an ice bath with water and ice.
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil. Add the collard green leaves and cook until bright green and just softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath and let cool for 10 minutes.
Drain the collards and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer the leaves to a food processor and process into small pieces. Add the butter and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. The butter will be soft, but will become firm as it cools. Refrigerate until ready to use; you should get about 2 cups of the compound butter.
Make the sweet potatoes: Position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.
Place the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a wire rack and let stand for about 10 minutes.
Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place 1 generous tablespoon collard butter atop each potato. Season the potatoes with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, toss the greens with the oil and vinegar. Top the potatoes with the dressed greens and serve.
Adapted from “Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes” by Todd Richards (Oxmoor House, 2018).
Tested by Ann Maloney; email questions to email@example.com.
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Calories: 465; Total Fat: 18 g; Saturated Fat: 8 g; Cholesterol: 30 mg; Sodium: 767 mg; Carbohydrates: 70 g; Dietary Fiber: 11 g; Sugars: 15 g; Protein: 6 g.