What We’re Cooking With Now: Collard Greens
Looking for adventure in the kitchen? Our monthly What We're Cooking with Now post features a fresh produce ingredient, explains how to find the market's finest, and includes a recipe to try at home.
Why: Aside from being a delicious and plentiful green, Collards are also very inexpensive and a great source of vitamins and nutrients. Practically a vegetable multi-vitamin, Collard greens are ranked 4th in nutrient density per cup. In just 1 cup of chopped cooked collard greens, you can get over 800% the daily recommended intake of vitamin K, 80% vitamin A, almost 50% vitamin C and manganese. It is also an excellent source of fiber, calcium, choline, vitamin B2, B6, iron, copper, vitamin E, magnesium, and protein, while containing smaller quantities of phosphorous omega 3 fat, folate, vitamin B3, and vitamin B1. These amazing greens also provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Shopping Tip: Look for greens that have firm, unwilted leaves and a deep, rich green color. Collard greens are similar to spinach in the way they are grown and harvested, and since spinach regularly makes the top of the dirty dozen foods list, it is important to purchase organic versions of all these foods, you should buy organic collard greens to reduce the amount of pesticide exposure.
Preparation: Rinse the leaves with cold water. Chop the large leaves into 1 inch pieces, and cut the stems to ½” pieces. The stems will take longer to cook than the leaves, so you can separate the stems and cook them longer, or mix them together to provide a varied texture. They are great sautéed, and steamed. The longer you cook the greens, the more nutrients are removed, so in order to provide the most nutritional benefit, it is best to cook them as minimally as possible.
Recipe: Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens Stew
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
10 cloves of garlic, minced
3 stalks of celery, diced small
4 cups of soaked black eyed peas (uncooked, but soaked)
6 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
4 bay leaves
3 tsp. smoked ground chipotle pepper
3 Tbsp. smoked paprika
2 cups of chopped collard greens
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the dried black eyed peas for 8-10 hours, or overnight.
Heat the oil in in a large pot and add the onion and green pepper, saute until soft. Then add celery and saute briefly, add the garlic, and saute until it is fragrant. Add the soaked beans and saute with everything for a few minutes. Add the broth and spices, bring to a boil, and cook covered for 30 minutes on a low simmer. Check to see if the peas are soft and done, if not, remove the lid and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes, checking often. You may need to add more broth. Once the peas are soft, add the chopped collard greens and apple cider vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes until the stems are al dente. The greens and stalks should still have texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This should be very soupy and thick, so that it can be served over brown or white rice, with the excess liquid being absorbed into the rice at the time of service.
Optional: 1c chopped jalapeno peppers, saute with the pepper and onion.