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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone care to give me a crash course in greens?

I hate to admit it, but I don't even know which is which...

CSA delivery this morning, a bunch of Kale, a bunch of Collards, and a bunch of Chard. I know the chard, because that one has red stems. But the collards and kale I can't keep straight... one has ruffly/bumpy leaves, like there's too much leaf for the stem, which is round, and the other is more like a fan, where the leaf is fairly flat and perfectly proportioned to the stem, which is more like a wide rib of celery.

And I have no idea how to cook them. Do I chop up the stems, or strip the leaves and toss the stems? Do they like a quick saute or a long wet cooking?

Greens have never been a part of my culinary experience and now I feel like I've been tossed into the deep end of the pool with them. Any help appreciated!
 

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I like to steam greens. I also put them into soups, saute them,etc. they are sooo yummy plain!

the collards are the round flat ones (usually big & leafy)

kale is more ruffly.


ETA- I chop them up stems and all. I don't like soggy greens so I don't cook them long (I usually just steam them for 5 min or so), but some people do like them more wilty.
 

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I roll the leaves and chop them with wise so that they are in finger size strips.

I heat olive oil in a pan and pan fry them for about 5 minutes then I put the lid on and let them smother for another 5 minutes. I like for them to be somewhat soft, BUT crunchy. I prefer to cook them until they are bright green, never dull or mushy.

I also saute onions, mushrooms and spicy peppers inthe oil before I add the greens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by beka1977 View Post
Do you eat meat?
Yup.

Thank you ladies.

Now I know it was kale we had last night at dinner (from the last CSA box)... and I wasn't terribly impressed with it. I wound up cooking it for about half an hour, but it still seemed to be telling me it wanted more cooking.

What flavors do you like with your greens?
 

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I made a new to me turnip recipe last night. I think it would work well with collards, too. It is a "cooked to death" sort of recipe, but that's how we like it.

http://projects.eveningedge.com/reci...turnip-greens/

I did not have the ground chile de arbol it called for, but I had some dried ancho chiles. I just took the stem and seeds off, then tore into small pieces and fried those along with the onions. I used olive oil instead of margarine. I also didn't have chicken broth, so I used a couple of bouillon cubes, and I substituted 1 cup of tomato sauce for the fresh tomatoes, which aren't in season for us right now.

Still good, though.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
Yup.

Thank you ladies.

Now I know it was kale we had last night at dinner (from the last CSA box)... and I wasn't terribly impressed with it. I wound up cooking it for about half an hour, but it still seemed to be telling me it wanted more cooking.

What flavors do you like with your greens?
I don't know how you were cooking it, but the only way it works perfectly IMO is to cook twice. Blanch, and then saute up with whatever you're cooking.

I like it tossed with spicy sausage and pasta....just oil, garlic, red pepper flake
 

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I like steamed and then served with a warm vinaigrette, or done "italian style," which is with garlic, olive oil, salt, and crushed red pepper. I also make a soup with onion, sausage, potatoes, and kale in a chicken stock.

IMO, half an hour is WAY too long to cook kale. (I don't do southern collards, either, so half an hour is too long for those for my taste as well.)

Personally, I de-stem them. The stems take much too long to cook, and so the stems are either underdone, or the leaves are over-done.

I do the blanch-then-saute method too, when I'm not feeling lazy!
 

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I usually take the stems off collards and kale, they tend to be so much tougher than the leaves. Chard I leave the stems on, they cook quicker and get tender enough to not be a chore to chew.

My favorite for kale is this: wash and de-stem, tear or chop into about 1" pieces. In a large skillet over med. heat with a few tbsp. of fat (I usually use bacon grease), toast some sesame seeds. When the seeds are barely browned, add the prepped kale, plus a splash of soy sauce and rice vinegar and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. It's good with cashews and/or red pepper flakes, too. Stir often, add a splash of water if needed (you don't want the pan too dry, or the kale will brown, which can make it bitter), cook just until the kale is bright green and wilted. Sometimes kale is very tough and bitter, no matter how you cook it, but when it's good it's very yummy, flowery and almost sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by AJP View Post
(you don't want the pan too dry, or the kale will brown, which can make it bitter), cook just until the kale is bright green and wilted. Sometimes kale is very tough and bitter, no matter how you cook it, but when it's good it's very yummy, flowery and almost sweet.
OH!!! Maybe that was the problem! I automatically browned it, since that's what I do with most veggies.

Thank you so much, ladies! I knew you all would have some great suggestions to try.
 

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Set your oven at 350 or so
Wash your Kale
Tear into bite size pieces
(do right after washing so the kale is still damp)
Put bite size pieces onto cookie sheet spread with oil
Sprinkle a little salt if you desire
Bake for 10 minutes or until crunchy or desired tenderness

Makes crunchy kale...really quick, really easy and really TASTY
:
:
 

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And for the other point of view... We just don't like kale. We'll eat it, if I happen to get some at the farmers' market/CSA, but I certainly don't go seeking it out.

I find it's best in soup when we do eat it.

The problem? It just never gets soft. You can cook it hours and hours, and it still retains that texture from the Shoney's salad bar (you know...the decorative kale in between the shredded cheese nad potato salad
). We're from the south, though, and we're used to greens being cooked to a lovely, almost velvet-y texture.
 

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I use chard the same way I use spinach.

For the chard and collards, I am a fan of long cooking methods. What I usually do is finally chop the greens until I have enough to almost fill my crock pot. I add some chopped garlic and onion, and green pepper if I have it. Add some water, chicken broth, or beef broth, a bay leaf, and maybe some thyme. And then I just let it cook on low until the greens seem tender-usually 6 or 8 hours. Once I have a big batch of cooked greens, I serve them as a side, or added to soups or stews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
The problem? It just never gets soft. You can cook it hours and hours, and it still retains that texture from the Shoney's salad bar (you know...the decorative kale in between the shredded cheese nad potato salad
).
Oh! That's normal then.
I was looking for that soft texture, and couldn't figure out why I couldn't get it.

I'm gonna have to try that crispy kale, thank you, MountainRose.
 

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Young kale is more tender, but it's never going to be as soft as cooked spinach or chard leaves (which will turn into mush if cooked long enough). I don't like kale when it's very tough, but I do like hearty greens, those that maintain a little body when cooked.

Definitely try it in soup before deciding you don't like it, that's a great way to eat kale, and try it at different times of the year.

The only collards I like are those out of my own garden, I think they suffer greatly just from being transported to a store. Fresh out of the garden, collard greens are amazing, and so easy to grow (they even take the summer heat well, much better than other greens IME).

Most of these types of greens (brassicas, like kale, collards, mustard) will get very sulfurous if cooked for a long time, which some people like and some don't. I don't like them long-cooked by themselves (like Southern-style collards), but love them in soup.
 

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I just have to post this recipe for collards, because they are sooooooo good!

Miss D's Smokin' Collards
by Dawnula Koukol
Serves 4-6, Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 45 min-1 1/2 hrs

* 1/2 C olive oil
* 3 C chopped yellow onion (about 2 onions)
* 6 oz or 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
* 2 T garlic, sliced
* 1 T chipotle in adobo
* 2 1/2 T smoked paprika, divided in half
* 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
* 1 T soy sauce
* 3/4 C vegetable stock
* 4 T molasses (black-strap)
* 5 lbs (or about 4 bunches) collards, cleaned, stemmed and chopped

In a large stockpot, heat oil on medium. Add the onions and mushrooms, saute for about 6 or 7 minutes or until the onions are wilted. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chipotle, half of the paprika, vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable stock and molasses.

Stir in the greens, a third at a time, pressing the greens down as they start to wilt. Cook the greens, covered, for about 45 minutes. Ad the last half of the smoked paprika, salt and pepper and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
*****
I halved the recipe with much success. In fact, I only had 1 bunch of collards when I made this, so I cooked it as stated, but then added a bunch of cleaned/stemmed/chopped kale when I added the last of the smoke paprika - because kale doesn't need to cook nearly as long as collards do. It worked really well!

Try this recipe - it is soooooo good! The smokiness, the sweet of the molasses, the savory mushrooms and the pieces of sliced garlic - it's just tooooo gooood!
 

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for any kind of big greens (mustard, collards, turnip, etc.. not so much kale because it's milder) I slice them cross wise in 1" strips, throw in a pot with a chopped onion and a hamhock, cover with water and cook the heck out of them. it's good with the addition of garlic and hot sauce too. As a general rule, the bitter greens do well with a bit of fat, and a bit of salt.

I like kale in soups. I make italian wedding soup with little meatballs, zuke and yellow squash and kale, and tuscan white bean soup with kale.
 

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Do you have a juicer? Greens add a lot of nutrients to juice. The kale, collards and chard are not strong tasting, imo. I was worried about that, but with other fruits, and a bit of celery, beets, a lemon and carrots, it is lovely!

Pat
 

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I'm pretty terrible at cooking greens. They just never seem to come out right! I've been trying to eat more though now that I'm pregnant, so I make kale smoothies.

I tear up a few handfuls of raw kale (minus the stems) and put it in the blender with a banana, a cup of frozen fruit (I like passion fruit and papaya), and then enough water to cover everything. I can't taste the kale in the smoothie, and it's fun to drink--green and frothy! Plus, it's nice to have something fruity and tropical-tasting in winter.
 
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