Feb 26, 2013 (Santa Cruz Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Grab some collards!
Available year-round, collard greens are in peak season in the winter months. The dark green leaves are oval-shaped and slightly chewy. Their taste is something between kale and cabbage.
A member of the cabbage family, collards are believed to have originated in Asia. They were first documented in the Americas in the early 1600s. Collards are a staple in the South. South Carolina grows the most collards of any state in the union.
It's a tradition to eat collard greens on New Year's Day. Because collard leaves resemble folded money, eating them on that holiday is said to ensure a prosperous new year.
A single serving of collard greens is about 46 calories. Collards contain the daily allotment of vitamins K and A, and are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
How to Select: Look for crisp, firm leaves. Avoid bunches with wilted, yellowed or slimy leaves. Wilting is a sign of bitter tasting leaves.
How to Store: Wrap your unwashed collards in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag. Place in fridge for up to 6 days.
Collard Greens Chiffonade with Orange Balsamic Glaze
Makes 4 servings
1 bunch of collard greens
1 half of a spring red onion, cut into half moons
1 teaspoon bacon fat
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 cup dense chicken
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces orange juice
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Bring a 3-quart chef's pan or saute pan of water to a boil over high heat.
2. Strip the leaves from the stems and slice them in a fine chiffonade. Place into cold water and rinse. Drain leaves, then immerse in the boiling water and cook for around 10 minutes. The collards should be brighter in color and have lost their 'raw' taste. If they cook longer, don't fret, as collards can take a lot of cooking.
3. When greens are cooked, drain them into a colander.
4. Add the bacon fat and olive oil to the pan, and lower heat to medium. Add the onions to the pan and toss to coat evenly with the oil. While the onions cook, peel the garlic cloves and de-germ them. Slice finely.
5. Cook the onions until soft and starting to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook until softened and fragrant. Add the greens back into the pan and stir the greens around. Add in the balsamic vinegar and cook to reduce the vinegar by half. Add the chicken stock, and simmer to reduce the liquid by 80 percent or until it starts to thicken.
7. Add the orange juice and stir the greens around in the liquid to coat evenly. Cook to reduce the liquid to a sauce like consistency or until there are just 2 tablespoons of 'sauce' left. Season with salt and pepper.
-- Recipe from Andrew Cohen, chef in residence for Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets
In the Bins is a weekly feature by Catherine Barr, executive director of the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets. Visit www.montereybayfarmers.org.
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