CSA Cooking: Crispy Pork Belly and Braised Collard Greens with Spicy Rhubarb Compote [with video]

You'll never think of collards the same way after digging into this delectable dish!

This recipe is part of the Just Picked series, a partnership between Modern Farmer + Foodterra. Visit our recipe hub for the complete collection, which will be growing throughout the season.

Crispy Pork Belly and Braised Collard Greens with Spicy Rhubarb Compote

You’ll never think of collards the same way after digging into this delectable side dish. We braise the greens with pork drippings then scatter crispy pork belly bites on top. A savory rhubarb compote contributes sweet, spicy, and acidic notes to the mix.

  • Olive oil (as needed)
  • 2 medium carrots, (chopped)
  • 1 stalk celery, (chopped)
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic, (smashed and finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon dry rub mix ((made from equal quantities of smoked paprika, mustard, garlic, and onion powders, brown sugar, salt, and pepper))
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head collard greens (8–12 leaves), (stems removed, soaked to remove any dirt, spun dry, and roughly chopped)
  • 1 pork belly
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Mustard green flowers (for garnish (optional))

Rhubarb compote

  • 1 long stalk rhubarb, (split in half lengthwise and chopped into half moons on the bias)
  • Olive oil, (as needed)
  • 2–3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, (peeled and finely chopped)
  • ½ shallot, (thinly sliced into half moons)
  • 1 tablespoon Concord grape vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1½–2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or maple syrup
  • 1 Fresno chile pepper, (stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high or high heat. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and dry rub mix and season with salt and pepper; sweat vegetables for 6–7 minutes. Stir in collard greens.
  2. Score the fat cap of the pork belly in a cross-hatch pattern. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and brown sugar, patting with your hands to make brown sugar adhere. Sear pork on the grill rack, fat side down, then flip and sear the other side, 6–7 minutes total. (If dripping fat causes flare-ups, don’t panic – just briefly remove pork from heat.)
  3. Transfer pork to a grill extender above the cast-iron skillet containing the collards to catch any pork drippings. Close the lid and let pork belly cook for 35–45 minutes, rotating pork and stirring greens occasionally. When greens are done, transfer them to a small pot and keep warm on the grill; wipe cast-iron skillet clean.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare rhubarb compote: Preheat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toss rhubarb in a bowl with olive oil, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Coat the hot pan with oil, add the seasoned rhubarb, and sauté for a few minutes. Add ginger and shallots and sauté for another 4–5 minutes, until rhubarb is softened and has a bit of color to it. Stir in vinegar, pomegranate molasses, chile and lemon juice. Keep warm.
  5. Heat up cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the fully cooked pork belly from grill and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper and add to the skillet to crisp it up on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  6. Plate the collards followed by the crispy pork bites and a touch of salt. Finish with rhubarb compote on the top and around the sides. Garnish with mustard green flowers, if available.

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