As the colder-weather months begin to arrive, eating seasonally can seem daunting. The vegetables you’ve relied on all summer and fall are quickly consumed during the great harvest, while the surplus is often fermented and canned so as to last through the winter.
Sometimes it can seem like the list of fresh produce will fit on one hand. Kale has been a superstar over the years for its ability to be grown all year, but I think it's time for kale to take a step back as the overshadowing, overachieving older sibling of the late-season greens. Along with root vegetables, there are a variety of greens that can hold on through the cold temperatures, and as a result, they develop deep, robust flavors. Because of their heartiness, it is important to know how to prepare them; but once you give them a try, you’ll find a variety of flavor profiles from sweet beet to bitter mustard. Here are nine recipes for the other hearty greens you should get to know this season.
In the South, these greens are eaten throughout the year. Their large, dark, thick leaves are often braised or thinly sliced for best consumption.
Photo and recipe from Food Network
2. DANDELION GREENS
Although it starts to sprout in the spring, this highly nutritious bitter green stores well. It has multiple medicinal purposes such as helping with digestion.
Photo and recipe from The Weekend Gourmande
3. BEET GREENS
Beets have a long growing season, which means their greens are available throughout the winter. They are high in antioxidants and vitamin B6, among other nutrients; plus, their leaves are naturally sweet.
Photo from Stout Oak Farm and recipe from Epicurious
5. CAVOLO NERO
This green comes from the kale family and is often referred to as black kale. It is a great source of vitamins and calcium, and is versatile enough to be used in a variety of dishes, from soups to salads.
Photo and recipe from BBC Good Food
6. SORREL LEAVES
This perennial green is herbaceous and hardy. It is often used to season sauces and to add depth and color to soups.
Photo and recipe from J.R. Organics Farm
A less bitter member of the endive/chicory family, escarole is high in fiber and vitamin A. The greens make for a perfect seasonally fresh salad.
Photo and recipe from Huffington Post
Also known as corn salad, mache has a nutty flavor and is historically known as a wild-growing weed in wheat fields.
Photo and recipe from New York Times
9. MUSTARD GREENS
Nyanyika Banda has worked as a chef for over 15 years in restaurants in Massachusetts, San Francisco, and New York, and as a recipe tester for a national publication. She currently runs a ramen popup and catering business in Minnesota while pursuing a degree in Food Studies.