02/28/2014 05:53AM ● Published by Style
What’s in Season: Swiss Chard, Collard Greens and Kale
Placer County farms are abundant with these nutrition-packed greens, which not only taste great but are versatile too. Kids love kale chips, which are made from small pieces baked in the oven and are much healthier than potato chips. It also works well chopped and added to a slow-cooking potato or vegetable soup, stew or chili. Collard greens, a popular Southern comfort food, are perfect used as wraps instead of tortillas. Try the baby variety of Swiss chard raw in a salad; mature Swiss chard is great slipped into lasagna or served sweet-and-sour with the addition of raisins and vinegar.
SELECTION AND STORAGE
When shopping for greens, choose Swiss chard that has crisp stalks and firm, bright leaves; the best collards are found in crisp bunches with leaves still intact. It is best to select small, deep-colored kale bunches with clean leaves. To keep collard greens and Swiss chard tasting fresh, store in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Kale should be wrapped in plastic and also stored in the crisper drawer.
HOW TO PAIR WITH WINE
These greens are fantastic in savory soups, including Chef Courtney McDonald’s Potato Soup with Collard Greens (for the recipe, visit stylemg.com). Try pairing it with a rustic Placer County red wine, such as Barbera (try PaZa Wines’ 2011 Barbera). To learn more, visit pazavinesandwines.com; or, for a list of 19 local wineries, visit placerwine.com.
DID YOU KNOW?
Swiss chard and collard greens are filled with vitamins A, C and K, lutein and zeaxanthin—an antioxidant that, like lutein, is believed to slow macular degeneration related to aging. It’s one of the best plant-based sources of calcium and a surprisingly high source of protein, which helps the body burn fat instead of muscle for healthier weight loss. Kale is packed with the vitamins A, B9, C and K, as well as calcium, lutein and potassium—which helps maintain a normal blood pressure and prevents muscle soreness after a workout.
For details on where to buy Placer County farm-fresh produce, wine, meat and local products, visit placergrown.org.