How do you clean and store fresh collard greens?

When you bring home collard (and turnip) greens from the farmer's market, they are dirtier (and quite possibly more flavorful!) that the ones you buy in the grocery store. First, wrap them, unwashed, in damp paper towels until you are ready to use them. Keep the wrapped greens in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days. When you are ready to cook the greens, you'll need to wash them.

1. Pull off any yellow or limp leaves as you separate the bunch.

2. Wash the leaves by swishing them vigorously in a bowl of cold water. Pull the leaves out of the water, re-fill the bowl with clean water and repeat until you no longer see any grit coming off. It usually takes about 3 cycles for farm-fresh greens.

3. Pat or spin the greens dry.

4. Cut away the tough stems and, if you prefer, the center veins.

Recipe: Sautéed Collard Greens

Marge Perry

June 2011