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How to Choose Fresh Collards

Selection:

 

Don’t be put off by the unfamiliar aspect of collards if you have never tried them. Look for leaves that have a rich, deep blue-green color and that are crisp, succulent, and not at all wilted. Avoid any that strong smell, have yellowed edges, or dried up stems. If the leaves are torn or show brown spots, they have been badly handled and should be left where they are.

While collards are hardier than spinach, like all types of greens they should be cooked as quickly as possible after picking. Of course, the best collards are picked, washed, and cooked within about 30 minutes, but those that have been treated well once they have left the field should still be full of flavor and vitamins when they reach the market. Most greens arrive in the supermarket two to three days after they have been picked. If they have been refrigerated, another day or two will not hurt them, but a good rule of thumb is to prepare greens – of any kind – the same day they are purchased, or the next day at the outside.

Collards are in the markets from late July until October or later.

Collards, like other fresh greens, diminish considerably, curing cooking. You will need at least ¼ pound of fresh collards per person.
 

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