All About Winter Greens

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All About Winter Greens

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

January is the time of the year where we often find ourselves wanting cleaner more nutritious foods. It makes sense, the holidays have just wrapped up and often our New Year’s resolutions include shedding a few pounds and eating a more balanced diet. Luckily for us, January is the time of year when winter greens are out in full vivacious force in our markets and gardens. Here in the South, we’re best known for our Collard greens, slickly braised along with delicious bites of ham hocks. But there are lots of other greens we use in our kitchens. Our favorite winter greens and the ones Paula grows in her garden include: Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, Turnip Greens, and Swiss Chard.

These nutrient rich dark leafy greens are fantastic in stews, soups, sautéed quickly in a bit of olive oil, or left to braise on the stovetop. They will add fiber, cancer fighting antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, folic acid, and calcium to your diet. These super foods are often inexpensive and always delicious sources of vital nutrients. Paired with the right ingredients, and cooked in the right way, you may not even realize you’re eating such healthy food.

Kale has an earthy, slightly bitter, broccoli like flavor and is rich in vitamins A, C and K. Kale is delicious sautéed with olive oil, steamed, added to soups, or even eaten raw in salads. Green kale shakes are even popular this year!
Colcannon Irish Potato Salad

Collard Greens have a more milder flavor than kale and are rich in vitamins A, C and K, fiber, and calcium. They’re fantastic sautéed briefly, steamed, or braised.
Stewed Collard Greens

Spinach has a sweet earthy flavor and is high in vitamins A and K, folate, and iron. Spinach tastes great eaten raw in salads or steamed.
Spinach Salad with a Hot Blackberry Walnut Dressing

Turnip Greens have an earthy peppery flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and calcium. They are delicious when eaten in salads, stews or sautéed.
Turnip Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings

Swiss Chard is another sweet earthy green. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, and iron. It is delicious in soups, sautéed, or steamed.
Sausage, White Bean, and Swiss Chard Soup

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Reader Comments:


Don't forget that even salad greens ( mixed lettuces cabbages etc) even cucumbers can all be sauted/steamed/or baked. I sometimes by pre-packaged salad mixes and saute with Evoo/onions/garlic & and even a piece of bacon or two. Taste everybit as wonderful as Kale/spinich/collards etc. After cooking serve as any vegetable, use in soups and omelets. Good way to use up slightly wilted greens. after cooking can be frozen for later use.

By Carole Lewis on January 19, 2012


love your shows and all of your receipes. my desire is to come to atlanta and eat at ladie and sons!

By wilma bare on January 19, 2012


Hi Paula, I was in Atlanta last year when my grandaughter carmella was born, and of course Nana as they all call me brought all my italian recipes with me and was cooking up a storm for my daughter and son in law... i was making wedding soup for them and i could not in any grocery store find any edive escarole or swiss chard, or any other greens but kale turnip or collard greens and i dont know what to do with those.. but I see you have swiss chard listed on the greens to buy in january is it just in southern GA i am going to visit them soon and need to make all the italian dishes they want before nana goes back north... Mariann Logozzo Lowellville, Ohio

By mariann logozzo on January 10, 2012


I'm from Germany and I married a sweet southern man from Georgia. He would rant and rave about his aunt's turnip salad with dumplings. Unfortunatly his aunt passed away and no one could tell me how to make them and since we never heard of this dish in Germany, I was lost. Until I saw this recipe in Paula Needless to say: WE ARE HAVING TURNIP SALAD with DUMPLINGS. What a surprise that will be. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

By Linda J on January 10, 2012

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