IN SEASON - June, September, October, November
Long a staple of the Southern United States, collard greens, unlike their cousins kale and mustard greens, have a very mild, sweet flavor. While collard greens share the same botanical name as kale they have their own distinctive qualities. Like kale, collards are one of the non-head forming members of the Brassica family along with broccoli and cauliflower. The dark blue-green leaves that are smooth in texture and relatively broad distinguish them from the frilly edged leaves of kale.
Do not store greens in paper bags. Store unwashed with a dampened paper towel in a perforated plastic bag and refrigerate. By changing the towel occasionally and keeping it damp, you’ll be able to store the greens for up to a week. Freezing: Greens freeze well. Wash, then blanch for 3 minutes, drain and plunge into ice water. Chill for two minutes; drain. Pack in freezer containers or bags. Use within 6 months.
Collards are very nutritious. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber. Because they are a relatively hardy green with a strong, mildly cabbagy taste, collards stand up well to longer cooking times because the flavor is allowed to mellow.