Kale has been the "it" green for the last few years, but now it has some competition. Collard greens, another leafy vegetable and a longtime Southern staple, are becoming a favorite among culinary all-stars. Hugh Acheson, owner of Five and Ten and The National in Georgia, declared collards "the new kale" during a guest-judging appearance on Top Chef. And Michael Ferraro, executive chef at Delicatessen in New York City and a former competitor on Iron Chef America, is also a fan. "Collard greens are a very classic comfort food ingredient, but they're making a comeback in a big way with new, lighter preparations," he says. "They're not just for fried chicken anymore."
Collards beat kale in the body benefit category as well. One cup is packed with more than your daily-recommended dose of vitamins A and K, two antioxidants that may help strengthen your immune system, prevent cancer and heart disease, and lower cholesterol. Plus, they contain 7.6 grams of filling fiber per cup compared to kale's 5.
Like kale, their thick leaves don't wilt easily, so they hold up well in the fridge. How should you prepare them? You can steam, boil, braise, sauté, or stir fry your collard greens—or have someone else do it for you. Here, six great restaurants that use collard greens in delicious and unexpected ways.
Casa, New York City
This Brazilian restaurant gives collards an international twist with their potato and collard greens soup, which you can order with or without Brazilian pork sausage.
Another veg-friendly place, Handlebar serves a house-made sambal tofu with collards, kale, edamame, and brown rice. All the produce is sourced from a local farm.
Vidalia, Washington DC
Their James Beard Award-winning chef gives collards the fancy treatment in the stuffed beaver creek quail, which is filled with a foie gras-collard green stuffing.
Solea Restaurant and Tapas, Boston
If you're in the mood to sample, try this Spanish tapas restaurant's small plate of Grelos Gallegos, or collard greens with pine nuts and raisins.
Square One Dining, Los Angeles
Breakfast lovers should check out Square One, a restaurant known for using organic, local, and small farm produce. They offer baked eggs with braised collard and mustard greens and Gruyère cheese.
Red Bamboo, New York City
The vegetarian and vegan Red Bamboo puts a healthy spin on Southern and Cajun cooking. One of their signature appetizers is the collard green rolls, vegan rolls stuffed with sweet collard greens and vegetarian smoked ham.
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