Collard Greens Recipes
Collard Greens Basics
Robust collards, part of the cabbage family, are a culinary staple in the South, where they're traditionally cooked in a long, slow braise. However, with their surprisingly mild taste (there's just a hint of bitterness), these greens also lend themselves to faster recipes and work with hearty and light flavors alike. They're chock-full of vitamins B6, C, and E, and are an excellent source of calcium, folate, and beta-carotene.
Plus, their antioxidants may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Find collard greens year-round in the produce aisle. Choose crisp, dark-green leaves with no discoloration,and look for smaller leaves, which are younger and more tender. Once home, wrap unwashed leaves in damp paper towels, and store them loosely in a plastic bag. Refrigerate up to five days in the crisper. Collards can be gritty, so before cooking, wash them in several changes of cool water until no dirt remains at the bottom of the bowl. Their thick stalks are too tough to eat and should be removed; to do so, simply cut them out with a sharp paring knife.
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.
Collard Greens with Bacon
This is a classic recipe for collard greens, where they're braised with bacon and onion and brightened with a splash of cider vinegar. For maximum flavor and tenderness, cook the greens a few hours in advance, store in the refrigerator, and reheat them just before serving.
Stuffed Collard Greens
Spelt, white beans and homemade tomato sauce fill these nutrient-rich (and vegetarian) bundles.
Minestrone with Collard Greens and White Beans
Collard greens replace the usual kale or spinach in this vegetarian minestrone soup. In addition to the canned diced tomatoes and collard greens, other vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, celery, or green beans, can be added.
Spaghetti with Collard Greens and Lemon
A handful of lemon zest coats the noodles and lends brightness to the collards in this quick pasta dish. The recipe calls for farro pasta, which has a complex, nutty flavor, but you could substitute whole-wheat pasta.
Chicken, Collard Greens, and Sweet Potato Stew
Hearty but not heavy, this satisfying chicken stew combines dark leafy collard greens with tender chicken, sweet potato, and brown rice for a colorful and warming dinner.
Sauteed Collard Greens with Raisins
Raisins add pleasing bursts of sweetness, and toasted almonds add crunch to sauteed collard greens. To turn this side dish into a complete meal, toss the greens with penne pasta and add cannellini beans or chickpeas.
Also called green gumbo, this classic Louisiana dish is traditionally served on Good Friday, but it's just as delicious on other occasions. In addition to collard and mustard greens, use any other greens you like in your gumbo z'herbes: turnip, beet, and dandelion greens; spinach; watercress; parsley; and arugula.
Brazilian Collard Greens
Super-fast collard greens? Yes, there is such a thing. Lucinda Scala Quinn learned this technique for finely chopping collards from a Brazilian friend.
Shrimp with Bacon and Collards
In this quick supper, collard greens are braised with canned diced tomatoes and shrimp, topped with crisp bits of bacon, and served over rice. Bonus: This easy dish is made in one pan.
Stewed Collard Greens and White Beans
There's no pork in this vegetarian update on the traditional collard greens and black-eyed peas combo. Cannellini beans and Parmesan rind give the dish a Mediterranean twist.
Scrambled Tofu with Collards and Turmeric
Collard greens add a hearty vegetable note to this colorful, protein-packed breakfast. It's flavored with digestion-aiding spices ginger and turmeric and also makes a delicious dinner.
Stewed Collard Greens
In this basic recipe for collards, the greens are stewed with chicken broth and red pepper flakes for about an hour, until tender. To make this side dish vegetarian-friendly, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
Cumin-Dusted Shrimp with Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
Black-eyed peas are simmered with red bell pepper, onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaf until tender and flavorful, then seasoned with cumin and cider vinegar. The beans are mixed with sauteed collard greens and topped with pan-seared shrimp for a filling meal.
Braised Collards with Tomatoes
Collard greens are braised with canned tomatoes and a smoked ham hock for three hours, until super tender and smoky. Canned black-eyed peas are stirred in at the end to add substance to the meal. Serve this Southern dish with rice or grits.
Pasta with Cauliflower and Collards
Collard greens are sauteed until bright green and crisp-tender, and tossed with roasted cauliflower and lemon zest in this meatless pasta dish. Before serving, top with grated Parmesan cheese, toasted breadcrumbs, or chopped walnuts.