A good pot of greens is about more than just making it taste good. It starts with the greens, of course. Choosing the optimal selection of greens will elevate your collard greens cooking skills every time.
What are Collard Greens?
Collard greens are a member of the Brassica oleracea family, which includes other greens like cabbage, kale and broccoli. Collards are a leafy green, with sturdy, dark green leaves, and thing fibrous stems.
What do Collard Greens Taste Like?
Raw collards can taste tough and bitter. It’s much firmer than kale and is not exactly interchangeable in terms of texture and taste. Collard greens are traditionally cooked with a smoked meat (e.g. ham hock, country ham, salt pork, smoked turkey wing, etc.). These less desirable cuts of meat were often
When to Buy Collards?
Collards are best in late autumn to early winter (depending on your climate). For example, in the southeastern United States, collards are at their best late November to early March. Versus in the northeast, collards are at their peak in late October to January. Collards benefit from an early frost, that makes the greens more tender.
Are Larger Collard Leaves Better Than Smaller Leaves?
No. Look for full, lush, green bundles with smaller leaves with minimal to no bruising.
Why Do I Need to Wait Until the Frost Hits the Collards?
1.) More Tender Greens
2.) Sweeter, less bitter greens
What Happens When the Frost Hits the Greens?
The colder temperatures causes the cells in the collard leaves to kick into survival mode. The cells begin converting their starches into sugars which make the greens tender and reduces the bitterness so they taste sweeter.
Where Can I Buy Collard Greens?
Shop for fresh bunches of collard greens at farmers’ markets, grocery stores or your local CSA. They’re much easier to find, in season (autumn and winter) but a lot of stores have started to carry them year round.
How Do I Wash Collard Greens?
Collards, like many other greens, can be gritty and benefit from several washes. My method for washing collard greens:
1.) Fill a clean sink or very large bowl with water.
2.) Add collard green leaves and swish around in water.
3.) Take the leaves out, a few at a time, remove the stem and central vein, stack, roll up and slice into ribbons.
4.) Add collard greens back to bowl of water and rinse again. Repeat if needed until the collards are clean.
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