Collards! Of all the vegetables that get a bad rap, I think collard greens really get the short end of the market basket. They are a delicious source of vitamin A, B6, C, E, K, riboflavin, calcium, iron, manganese, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, yet many people think they can only be braised for hours with smoked pork during a southern feast! Collard greens are also a crisp, refreshing, sturdy green that can be used in salad, fried up quick with a runny egg on top, or thrown in a stir-fry or noodle dish. They don’t wilt as easily as other greens and are delectable with just a little bit of heat or acid. As with their other brassica cousins, the winter frosts have made them sweeter and better than ever.
Collard and Kohlrabi Slaw
This winter slaw will add bright and fresh flavors to your table, a little sunshine for your December day. Everyone loves different slaw so make it your own! Throw in some radishes, substitute horseradish for mustard, pears for apples, the farmers market is your oyster.
Serves 4-6 servings
2 regular or 3 small carrots
½ of a medium sweet onion
½ large kohlrabi
1 crisp apple
3 medium collard leaves
2 tsp salt
1 tsp course ground black pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp olive oil
The method you use to cut your vegetables will alter the texture. Smallest to largest is grating with a box grater, shredding with food processor, or cutting matchsticks with a knife or mandoline attachment.
Using your preferred method shred your carrots, onion, kohlrabi, and apple. Chiffonade the collards (cut the collards into quarters and take out the stems. Roll them up and cut across the roll into thin strips.)
Mix salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, and oil. Toss vegetables in dressing. Enjoy!
Collard Butternut White Bean Soup
Adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
This riff on Alice’s soup allows you to make the beans, squash, and onions in advance and roasting the squash separate also allows it to retain a better texture.
Soak 1 cup dried white beans (such as cannellini) in 4 cups water overnight. Drain water and cook in 4 cups new water and 3 cups chicken stock. Simmer until beans are tender. (As little as 45 minutes but usually a bit over an hour for me). Drain but keep cooking liquid.
Roast 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes, in a 400 degree oven until tender, about an hour. Shake occasionally. If you are roasting with other things in the oven feel free to roast at any temperature, just adjust cooking time and attention to avoid burning.
Cook 2 chopped large onions, 2 tsps salt, and 1 tsp cracked black pepper in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add 4 cloves garlic, 2 tsp thyme, and 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Turn the heat down if browning too quickly. Chiffonade (de-stem, roll up and then cut across roll into thin strips) 1 bunch collard greens and add, cooking until bright green, about 5 minutes. Add squash, beans, and 6 cups cooking liquid. Cook 10 minutes, or a bit longer if adding made ahead cold ingredients.
Salt and pepper to taste. Can garnish with pan-fried or oven roasted crispy chiffonaded collards.