Agriculture Seasonal Recipes

December 23, 2014 at 8:00 am

Putting Up your Fall Harvest: Collards and Mustards

This series is for farmers, gardeners, or anyone overloaded with produce. Written by Monica Johnson, a woman who farmed her way from Brooklyn, NY to her current home in Deep East Texas, “Putting Up Your Harvest” is full of tips and tricks to keep your food waste down and your culinary enjoyment lasting throughout the colder seasons. Enjoy these clever ways to preserve your fruitful harvest.

Collards are Brassica oleracea and related to broccoli and cabbage. Mustard greens are Brassica juncea and though they are in the same family as collards, mustard greens taste more pungent. Collards and mustard greens are a great source of vitamin K , vitamin C and soluble fiber. Both are popular in the southern United States and considered “soul food” and often cooked down with pork for added flavor.

I planted mustards in the spring and they took off with very little attention. In fact, they were so prolific, I mowed the majority of them down to try to control them, but they just kept coming back. I finally gave them some much-needed attention last week; many of the leaves had grown larger than my head! My collards are another story. I planted them in September and they grew slowly. I have harvested the majority of them (a couple of handfuls) and am hoping they will grow back soon.

Credit: Glory Foods

Credit: Glory Foods

Here are six ways to enjoy collards and mustard greens year-round:

1. Freeze it. You can cut, blanche and freeze for a later date. However, you can also go ahead and cook them southern style. Freeze the leftovers.

2. Make pesto. I suggested you to do this with dark leafy greens, but it also works well with mustards and collards, though be warned; it will have a strong taste.

3. Make chips. Dust with a little olive oil and sea salt and dry them until crispy.

4. Make compound butter. This great way to get your greens in! Add some scallions or garlic and spread on toast, add to a stir-fry, or use on pasta, instead of plain butter.

5. Roll ‘em. Make rolls similar to the ones I suggested in my cabbage piece. Freeze any leftovers.

6. Make soup. Make a big batch of soup and freeze the leftovers for a later date!

-Monica Johnson