Collard Greens

Collard greens are a large, dark leafy green of the cabbage family popularly grown and eaten in American Southern cuisine.

Collard green dishes came to the South from African slaves. Since then, they have become a staple in many dishes. Most famously, collard greens are eaten with black-eyed peas on New Year's Day to bring good luck into the year. Collard greens toughen as they age, so they are traditionally stewed over low heat for a long time to break down the fibers. Collards are usually cooked with a cured meat in the pot, such as a ham hock or tasso, though vegetarians can substitue with a smoked salt to get a similar flavor. It's also common to season stewed collard greens with a little apple cider vinegar to brighten the taste. Young collard leaves are tender enough that they can be thinly sliced and eaten raw, especially if they are well-seasoned or sesrved with a sauce. Like most dark, leafy greens, collards are a good source of Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as mangenese, calcium, and iron.

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