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help me cook Kale or Collards...I want to like them.

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I really want to like dark leafy greens. But I never have. Only in the last few years have I developed a love of spinach...sauteed with butter or oil, garlic and lemon. Every time I've had collards they have been either very bitter or way too vinegary.


I currently have a big bag of cut up, prewashed collard greens and another of kale. i want to make greens to go with my black eyed peas and corn bread. Tell me what to do!

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Also, if you are just after dark leafy greens, substitute your iceberg lettuce for spring mix or baby spinach. For us the progression was from iceberg to romaine to spring mix and baby spinach (I buy a big box of each every market day). We use the raw greens for every thing from salads to tacos.

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I have never like kale but I had this soup at a potluck and it was fabulous!


Olive Garden Zuppa Toscano

1 lb. spicy Italian sausage – crumbled

1 qt. water

(2) 14.5 oz. cans (about 3 2/3 cups) chicken broth

2 lg. russet potatoes – scrubbed clean, cubed

2 garlic cloves – peeled, crushed

1 med. onion – peeled, chopped

2 cups chopped kale OR Swiss chard

1 cup heavy whipping cream

salt and pepper – to taste



Brown sausage in a pan over medium to medium-high heat, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks.

Drain sausage and set to the side.

Place broth, water, garlic, potatoes, and onion in a pot.

Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender.

Add sausage to the soup.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add kale and cream to pot.

Season with salt and pepper.

Heat thoroughly.

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Our favorite way to eat kale:


Kale Chips:

Tear kale into bite-sized pieces. Coat with ~1 Tbs. olive oil. Spread flat on a single layer on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I usually have to bake in two batches for one bunch of kale.) Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until kale is crispy. Watch carefully for the last 2 minutes or so that the kale does not burn.


My pickiest eater will eat kale prepared this way. It has a delightful texture, fragile and crisp. My family can easily eat 2 bunches of kale chips.


I'm trying collards for the first...second?...time today, so haven't got a favorite recipe yet.



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Kale chips are great--definitely try them. It's more of a snack than a side dish, but they're a great way to introduce them to kids.


I can't believe no one has mentioned this, but bacon is the way to make dark leafy greens delicious. Cook three or four strips of bacon in a large skillet. (I cut mine into small strips so they'll be "bits" once cooked.) Tear the large veins and stems out of the greens, then cut or tear the greens into smaller pieces. Rinse thoroughly--you may need to soak them in several changes of water, if they're sandy. Once the bacon is crisp, add the wet greens to the pan and toss in the rendered fat. Cover and cook until completely limp.


Spinach benefits from a short cooking time, just until wilted, but tougher greens like Collards really need to cook down, or they'll be tough and stringy. They don't turn to slime the way spinach does, so don't be afraid to let them really stew.


Garlic, onions, and garbanzo beans also play really well with sauteed greens. Adding a quarter cup of chicken broth or veggie broth to the pan will make them tastier if you don't eat bacon. Basically, strong-tasting greens like Collards need salt and an umami-flavor (meat, mushrooms, or Parmesan cheese) to balance the bitterness.

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