Category Archives: Collard Greens

Green Green Collards of Home

It’s Spring, Collards Greens are calling, “We need a leaf-trim!” :mrgreen:

Urban me had never heard of Collard Greens until coming to the US & got introduced to it by a colleague in a hospital cafeteria. It was love at first bite!! Since then, Collard Greens & I have become inseparable. It may be known and used in American recipes of Soul and Southern Food but I have actually used it fusion style, in Curries, Spicy Sambal dishes and even Fried Rice. The taste of it’s green chlorophyll & fibrous texture is priceless.

I’m so obsessed with growing Collards that I make sure to have at least 6 giant bushes at all times … even though it is a cool weather crop.

A Collard bush next a corn patch.

A Collard bush next to a corn patch ~ the tall corn will provide shade in summer.

Well, it’s supposed to be cool loving but depending on where & how you plant it, I have found that micro climate does help and they can grow as a perennial in Zone 10A.

Another bush on the north side, where it's cooler.

Another bush on the north side, where it’s cooler & blocked from southern wind.

The leaves are just enormous.

The leaves are just enormous!

For 2 persons, 5 leaves are enough for a large portion of side dish accompanying a main. Cook 20 leaves and you will have enough for the freezer, to help on lazy days.

My 18 month Collard has been nicknamed “Survivor”. It started like an ordinary ‘bush’ but has happily grown in a 5-gal bucket (always sharing space with companions) to become a ‘tree’ of sort.

My Collard Survivor

My Collard Survivor

I foresee Collard leaves galore coming shortly so I might try making Acar Collard or Collard Mui-Choy (梅菜) the old Hakka style of drying & salting (may my Hakka ancestors be proud of me), or even Collard Kim-chi … that’s how new dishes come about right?

10 years ago, I met a very kind, elderly African American lady who grew up in Louisiana, who had bags and bags of Collard Greens in her supermarket cart and told me she learned how to cook this from her mother, when I ask for a recipe. I hastily scribbled it down and we parted like kids giggling about this shared family recipe. That was my introduction to cooking this vegetable. Delicious! So for dinner tonight ~

Collard Greens with smoked ham hock.

Collard Greens with smoked ham hock.

I may be born in Singapore but I sure love this kind of Soul Food!

 

 

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Combo Food (crops) in a Pot

This year I decided to try Multi-Companion Planting in Containers. I’ve seen all kinds of floral plants beautifully combined in pots at nurseries, on home patios, balconies and indoors ~ so why not try with edibles, I asked myself.

This is Pot No. 1 and the Squash is preparing to bear fruit, though I have already been cutting some leaves off the Collard Green for cooking.

Companion planting in a 5-gal container.

Companion planting in a 5-gal container ~ Collard Green, ‘Tree Tomato’, Summer Squash & Clover

Squash can share my patio bench or climb ~ its choice.

Squash can share my patio bench but if it gets crowded, I’ll make a trellis with little gourd cradles so they can grow & hang vertically.

Male Squash bloom with lots of pollen

Male Squash bloom with lots of pollen

Female ready to 'bear fruit'.

Female buds ready to bloom & hopefully ‘bear fruit’.

Cool Weather Greens

Our visitors left today, after a lunch of  smoked salmon on toast and Caesar Salad. It makes me smile when I see looks of shock that I’m actually growing vegetables. I guess those who have known me while I was working in a high floor office of a fast-paced institute could never have foreseen me ‘digging dirt’.

But they did get to taste super fresh veggies … from the garden, to the kitchen, to the table.  😀

Romaine Lettuce for Ceasar Salad & young Collard Greens

Romaine Lettuce for Ceasar Salad & young Collard Greens

Collard Greens

I had never heard of the vegetable called Collard Greens until I came to the US. The 1st time I had a chance to taste it was when a co-worker told me they had Soul Food at the hospital’s canteen that day. It was prepared with smoked pork and it came with fried chicken. 1 mouthful of Collard Greens and I was in love with that vegetable… it was so good!  Yes, Love at 1st Bite!  🙂

Since then I have never looked back, planted Collard Greens every year and they just grow beautifully in my backyard. I have used them in curries, stews, soups… you name it!  One of my favorite is my own concoction ~ Collard Greens Fried Rice. Today is my Meatless Monday so vegetarian Collard Greens Fried Rice it was, for lunch.

From the Garden ….
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… to the Kitchen …

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… to the Table.

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Absolutely yummy….  🙂