March 27, 2009
LITTLE RED WAGON
edible GARDEN PROJECT
Lets Get gardening for FOOD!!! Like – Creating an Edible Landscape in your neighborhood; take a walk with a Red Wagon, a stroller, some kids, a few collard cuttings, a trowel…and visit someone on your street who has a rose bed, a container of perennials, any location they are already watering and tending…It is an easy beginning, with the introduction of 1 or more food plants (perennials) into an existing flower bed, or large container of perennials or any landscaped, watered & tended area. We suggest an easy to grow staple vegetable such as the “Tree Collard” – or a ground cover such as strawberries
What is a Tree Collard?
Tree collards are a very easy to grow perennial green, similar to chard. Just stick a branch into the ground in early spring & water well. They like a lot of water, and do best if watered deeply & then mulched, especially in the summer months. Cut and prune in summer when the plant is dormant. If you cut the top off, you will get side growth and more leaves to each plant…it begins to develop into a shrub.
Preparation & Recipes:
Best and sweetest taste arrives after the first frost, this is a great winter green when all else in the garden has slowed down or frosted out.
Cut the greens from the bottom of the plant first, and work your way upwards. Use the tender, smaller leaves for your dinner, large ones for mulch or compost. If they get a lot of purple in the larger leaves they are old and a little tough and take longer to cook.
Start by getting all the grit off the leaves, easiest way to clean them is in the sink or a very large pot filled with cold water. After cutting the tough stems and heavy ribs out, place the leaves in the cold water. Let them soak for a few minutes then swish around to loosen grit and sand; drain. Repeat the process two or three times, depending on how gritty the leaves are. If you add some salt or Bronner’s soap to the soak water, you will also remove any bugs.
Eat them raw or cooked.
Raw Smaller leaves can be very thinly sliced and used in a cole slaw or green salad.
Cooked Collard greens taste great if cooked for about an hour with smoked turkey leg or a ham hock, southern style…also in a black eyed pea soup.
How to Cook Collard Greens / Southern Collard Greens Recipe
To cook collard greens, first see the washing ritual above. Put
your washed leaves together in a bunch and cut or twist into manageable smaller pieces. Put your greens into a large pot and fill with water to the tops of the collard greens. Generally, it takes 45 minutes to one hour to boil them to a tender state. They’re usually cooked with some type of seasoning meat and they taste great with pickled pepper vinegar as a condiment. Drain your collards before serving, but don’t throw away your juice. The collard juice contains a large portion of the vegetable’s vitamins and minerals, so save it to use as a soup base or drink it! Southerners call collard juice “pot likker.” It’s a personal choice whether to boil or steam the whole leaf or to chop them up before serving. In the South, they’re generally chopped. You may freeze leftover collard greens too – many people put the frozen collards into a frying pan on medium heat to thaw them and call them fried collards.
Classic Southern Style Greens
· · 2 pounds fresh greens
· 1 1/2 gallons water
· 1 or 2 ham hocks or smoked turkey leg (Willy Bird)
· 1 tablespoon salt
· 1 or 2 dried peppers or cayenne, to taste
· 1/2 cup chopped onion
Stove Top Preparation:
In a large kettle, boil the water with the ham hocks and salt, plus seasonings. Clean greens thoroughly with several changes of water. Cut away tough stems and cut large leaves in strips. Add the greens to boiling water a little at a time. Cover and boil for about 1 hour. Serve with cider vinegar or pepper sauce.
Prepare as above, then transfer to a crock pot and cook for at least an hour on high, or for 2-3 hours on low, until very soft and texture that you like. They are ready to eat! Cook enough for 2-3 days at one time and reheat.
Garlic Greens (Vegetarian & Low Fat)
· 1 1/2 to 2 pounds collard greens or turnip greens, boiled or steamed until tender
· 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
· 2 to 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 large cloves)
· salt and black pepper, to taste
· hot pepper sauce
Drain greens well.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook garlic in the vegetable oil until it just begins to brown. Add the drained greens; season to taste with salt and pepper then add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Serves 4 to 6.
SPICY BLACK EYED PEAS AND COLLARD GREENS
[Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free / Pareve / Vegan / Soy-Free]
5 cups collard greens, rinsed and chopped or shredded
2 15-oz. cans of black eyed peas, rinsed and drained or 4 c. cooked (from bulk storage) beans
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 bay leaves
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 large poblano or anaheim chili pepper, seeds removed, minced
1/3 cup wine (red or white)
2/3 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or deep frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sautee until translucent. Add the garlic and pepper and all of the herbs and spices except the salt. Stirring frequently, cook the spices in the oil for several minutes. Add the collard greens and saute, coating the greens thoroughly in the spices and oil. Sautee for 5 minutes or until the greens begin to wilt. Add all of the remaining ingredients and cover. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes or until the greens are tender. Stir regularly to make sure ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Serve hot, as a main dish or a side dish. Can be topped with sour cream.
Nutrients Per ½ Cup Cooked Collard Greens
(an excellent source of calcium & Vit A)
Antioxidants and phytochemicals are abundant in collard greens,
just as in other cabbage family vegetables. (Brassica Family)
Protein 1 gram
Dietary fiber 2.9 grams
Carbohydrates 2.5 mg
Dietary fiber 0.4
Calcium 74 mg
Vitamin A 2,109 IU
Vitamin C 9 mg
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