In Season: Mustard greens are at their peak from January through April. Many supermarkets carry them year-round.What to Look For: Look for leaves with a rich green color. Avoid any mustard greens that are wilted or yellowish. The smaller the leaves, the more tender they will be.How to Store: Wrap unwashed mustard greens tightly and store in the refrigerator's crisper drawer for up to one week. Mustard greens tend to hold sand and dirt, so wash thoroughly before cooking.
In Season: Flavorful, slightly bitter escarole thrives in cool weather. It grows from fall through winter, and can be found year-round in most supermarkets. What to Look For: A head of escarole looks like curly lettuce and can be as small as a softball or as large as a soccer ball. Choose firmly packed heads with unblemished leaves. How to Store: Wrap escarole in paper towels and store in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to four days.
In Season: Radicchio's peak season lasts from January to April, although most specialty grocers carry it year-round.What to Look For: This member of the chicory family comes in several varieties, with two types being most widely available in the United States: Treviso and Verona. Treviso leaves are oblong with pointed ends and grow in small, tightly packed heads. Verona radicchio grows in loosely packed round heads similar in shape to butter lettuce. Both varieties have purple leaves with white ribs. Choose radicchio with crisp leaves and no brown spots. How to Store: Keep radicchio in a tightly sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
In Season: The peak season for collard greens is January through April, though many supermarkets carry them year-round.What to Look For: Choose collards with deep-green leaves. Avoid those that are limp or have yellow spots. The smaller the leaves, the more tender they will be.How to Store: Wrap unwashed collard greens in damp paper towels and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator's crisper drawer. Stored like this, your greens will keep for up to five days. Wash thoroughly before cooking.
In Season: Kale turns sweeter in cold weather, so it's at its best from mid-fall through early spring.What to Look For: Choose kale with firm, deep-green leaves, avoiding any that are wilted or have yellow spots. How to Store: Keep kale in the coldest part of your refrigerator, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. Though it seems like a sturdy vegetable, kale will quickly wilt and turn bitter.
In the world of hearty greens, Swiss chard often gets overshadowed by its popular neighbor kale, but it’s a superstar in its own right. This relative of the beet is a superb source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, and iron. It makes a colorful and tasty side dish, or a nutritious addition to pasta, soup, quiches, and more. In Season: The Swiss chard harvest typically begins in the late summer and lasts into the fall. Many markets carry chard year-round. What to Look For: You'll typically find three types of chard in stores and at farmers' markets: Rainbow chard has colorful red, pink, yellow, or white stalks; Fordhook Giant is identifiable by crinkly leaves and thick, white, tender stalks; and Ruby Red (or Rhubarb) chard has thin, red stalks and slightly stronger flavors. Regardless of kind, look for crisp, vibrant green leaves with no yellow or brown marks. Avoid leaves with small holes. How to Store: After a mild rinse, store chard in moistened paper towels in a plastic bag (with a few pinholes to allow air to circulate) in the refrigerator for two or three days.