I had never had collard greens until I met my husband. He introduced me to this classic from the American South, and I've perfected my own recipe over the years.

My opinion is that the strength of the seasonings for collards are very much based on individual taste. While I like a strong onion and garlic presence in my collards, others might not. I'd recommend that you experiment with the ingredients in this recipe until you've found the combination that suits your taste.

4 bunches of collard greens. Remove the stems and ribs, pulling the green leafy sections free. Then rinse the greens thoroughly in the sink, being sure to get rid of any grit. Tear the collard greens by hand into bite-sized pieces.
1 large onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
3 ham hocks (you can also add salt pork or bacon, just fry it up first)
Red Pepper Flakes

Spray cooking spray in a large cookpot and heat over medium-low heat.
Once the pan is hot, toss in the onion and garlic and stir until they soften up -- don't let them get brown, though.

Place all of your greens in the pan, along with the ham hocks and cover with water.

Add salt and pepper to your taste. (I use about 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper for this amount of greens.)
Add several dashes of red pepper flakes.

Bring the greens soup to a boil and them reduce to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about one hour, or until the meat is falling off the ham hocks and the greens are soft and tender.

I serve these greens with cornbread and either fried or bake-fried chicken.