From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Collard greens are various loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group), the same species that produces cabbage and broccoli. The plant is grown for its large, dark-colored, edible leaves and as a garden ornamental, mainly in Brazil, Portugal, the Southern United States, many parts of Africa, Montenegro, Spain and in Kashmir. They are classified in the same cultivar group as kale and spring greens, to which they are extremely similar genetically. The name collard is a shortened form of the word colewort (“cabbage plant”).

Nutritional Value
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
151 kJ (36 kcal)
7.1 g
0.4 g
3 g
Vitamin A equiv.
575 μg (64%)
Folate (Vit. B9)
76 μg (19%)
Vitamin C
26 mg (43%)
Vitamin K
623 μg (593%)
210 mg (21%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
The plant is commercially cultivated for its thick, slightly bitter edible leaves. They are available year-round, but many people believe that they are tastier and more nutritious in the cold months, after the first frost. For best flavor and texture, the leaves should be picked before they reach their maximum size. Flavor and texture also depend on the cultivar; the couve-manteiga and couve tronchuda are especially appreciated in Brazil and Portugal.
Fresh collard leaves can be stored for up to 10 days if refrigerated to just above freezing (1 °C) at high humidity (>95%). In domestic refrigerators, fresh collard can be stored for about three days. Once cooked, it can be frozen and stored for greater lengths of time.
Collard greens are a staple vegetable of southern U.S. cuisine and soul food. They are often prepared with other similar green leaf vegetables, such as kale, turnip greens, spinach, and mustard greens in “mixed greens”. They are generally eaten year-round in the South. Typical seasonings when cooking collards can consist of smoked and salted meats (ham hocks, pork neckbones, fatback or other fatty meat), diced onions, vinegar, salt, and black white, or crushed red pepper. Traditionally, collards are eaten on New Year’s Day, along with black-eyed peas or field peas and cornbread, to ensure wealth in the coming year, as the leaves resemble folding money. Cornbread is used to soak up the “pot liquor”, a nutrient-rich collard broth. Collard greens may also be thinly sliced and fermented to make collard kraut, which is often cooked with flat dumplings.
In Portuguese and Brazilian cuisine, collard greens (or couve) are common accompaniments of fish and meat dishes. They are a standard side dish for feijoada, a popular pork and beans-style stew. The leaves are sliced into strips, 1 to 3 mm wide (sometimes by the grocer or market vendor, with a special hand-cranked slicer) and sautéed with oil or butter, flavored with garlic, onion, and salt. Sometimes, it is also eaten fresh.
Thinly sliced collard greens are also the main ingredient of a popular soup, caldo verde (“green broth”). The juice pressed from fresh leaves and leaf stalks, taken regularly, is popularly believed to be a remedy for gout, bronchitis, and blood circulation problems.
In Kashmir, both leaves and roots are consumed. Leaves in the bud are harvested by pinching in early spring, when the dormant buds sprout and give out tender leaves. Also, seedlings of 35–40 days’ age as well as mature plants are pulled out along with roots from thickly sown beds. When the extending stem bears alternate leaves in quick succession during on-season, older leaves are harvested periodically. Before the autumn season, the apical portion of stem is removed along with the whorled leaves.
The roots and the leaves may be cooked together or separately. A common dish is haak rus, a soup of whole collard leaves cooked in water, salt and oil, usually consumed with rice. The leaves are also cooked along with meat, fish or cheese In winter, collard leaves and roots are fermented to form a very popular pickle called haak-e-aanchaar.
In Egypt, collard greens, called sel’ (with the apostrophe denoting a glottal stop) are used solely in a garlicky soup with colocasia, or taro root.

Cooking Tips and Recipes from our site

Basic Sautee’d Greens

Tasty Collard Greens, recipe from Recipe submitted by: ANADRI.

  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  3. 5 cups chicken stock
  4. 1 smoked turkey drumstick
  5. bunches collard greens – rinsed, trimmed and chopped
  6. and black pepper to taste


  1. 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic, and gently saute until light brown.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock, and add the turkey leg. Cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the collard greens to the cooking pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Let the greens cook down for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Reduce heat to medium, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until the greens are tender and dark green, 45 to 60 minutes.
  7. Drain greens, reserving liquid.
  8. Mix in red pepper flakes if desired.
  9. Retain liquid to reheat leftovers.