All Simple Vegetable Recipes

Simple cooking with Collards

Collards have been cultivated since ancient times, where widely known throughout Africa, and might even have been bought to America by the black slaves. Their popularity is finally beginning to spread to others parts of the country, as they are good for you, easy to grow, can withstand extreme heat and will survive into the first cold months.

In the past, greens, especially collards, have been cooked to within an inch of their lives – a long, slow boiling, usually with bacon, ham bones or hock, or salt pork. A little experimenting has revealed that they can, and should, be treated more like spinach. While the flavor is more pronounced than spinach, it is not as strong as kale or mustard greens. The larger, more mature leaves should be steamed or simply wilted in the water that clings to the leaves after washing. Smaller, more delicate leaves can be added raw to green salads for a delicious taste, reminiscent of cabbage.

Home gardeners love collards. This types of greens grow on straight, tall stalks, each leaf separate. Picking is done from the bottom of the stalk up and can continue until the final hard frost kills the plant. In the fall, and in some places right through Christmas, you can often see kitchen gardens with tall stalks standing, plucked up to the final delicate leaves that are being save for that last “mess” of fresh greens before winter takes over.

Collards are low in calories and are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, and absorbable calcium.

More about cooking with leaf vegetables

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