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Collard Greens

You don’t have to be a southerner to enjoy collard greens! Yes, they’re traditional—and delicious—when served with black-eyed peas and cornbread. But they can often be used in place of other leafy greens in recipes, though they may require a little extra cooking time. Rich in nutrients (like vitamins A, K, and C, calcium, folate, and fiber) and easy to prepare, collard greens are tempting in soups, with meats and poultry (like smoked turkey), and any beans or grains. Try them chopped finely and sautéed in garlic as a quick and simple side dish. They’re hearty but at the same time mildly flavorful. Make collard greens a regular on your menu.

Flavor Profile

  • Mild, slightly bitter, slightly smoky, salty flavor

How to Choose a Good One

  • Should have firm, unwilted leaves, and sturdy stems
  • Deep green leaves with no yellowing or browning
  • Smaller leaves are more tender and mild than larger leaves
  • Store unwashed in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag, removing the air, in the refrigerator for three to five days

Peak Season

  • January through April
  • Available year round

Nutritional Highlights

  • Excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, folate, calcium, and dietary fiber
  • Very good source of potassium, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6
  • Good source of vitamin E, magnesium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, niacin, zinc, phosphorus, iron, and pantothenic acid

General Use

  • Popular in southern American, Portuguese, and Brazilian cuisines
  • Sautéed, steamed, braised
  • Sushi rolls
  • With mixed greens, such as turnip greens, kale, spinach, and mustard greens
  • Collard craut
  • Side dish
  • Pickled
  • Soups and stews, like Feijoada (a pork and bean stew), Caldo verde (“green broth”), and Haak rus (soup of whole collard leaves, usually eaten with rice)


  • Rice
  • Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes
  • Navy beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas
  • Smoked and salted meats
  • Vinegar, olive oil, butter, lemon juice
  • Salt, black pepper, red pepper, garlic, sage, rosemary
  • Cornbread
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Pasta

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