The collard green is a native plant to the Eastern Mediterranean. It is a hearty plant that can stand high heat, and low temperatures. Collard greens taste similar to a cross between cabbage and kale. Collard greens are sometimes just simply referred to as collards.
The collard green is a broad leaf plant with smooth leaves that are thick and have a large vein running down the center. They are deep green, sometimes almost blue in color. The edges of the leave can be flat or curled. The collard green is a variety of cabbage that does not for a head, just a loose rosette at the top of each stem.
Collards are harvested from the outside leaves, in. Several leaves are left in the center so the plant will continue to produce the plant will continue to replenish itself. These plants are picked 2-3 times during the season
The collard was introduced into America by African slaves. It became a staple of their diet. It is associated with “soul food”. The greens are commonly boiled with pork fat and onions.
Collard greens need to be washed well before cooking. The leaves tend to trap sand in them. The easiest way to way the leaves is to cut or tear them, unwashed, into a sink or basin of ice water. The leaves should be agitated in the water to dislodge any dirt.
Raw collards contain vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, calcium and iron. Cooked collards only still contain vitamins A, C and potassium. Collard greens can be prepared like spinach or cabbage. Collards are in season from January to April.
Sweet and Sour Greens
2 1/2 pounds fresh collard greens
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1. Remove stems from greens. Wash leaves thoroughly, and tear into bite size pieces. Set aside
2. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven until crisp; remove bacon, reserving drippings in skillet. Set bacon aside.
3. Add water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to drippings in Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add greens; cover and cook over medium heat, 30 to 45 minutes or until greens are tender, adding additional liquid if necessary. Spoon into serving dish, and sprinkle bacon over top.
Things that pair well with Collard Greens
acid, esp. vinegar
pork, esp. ham hocks
© 2015 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.
Cite me: Denlinger, J. (2015, February 26). Collard Greens. Retrieved from: FloridaChef.net