The Greens Challenge

What's in Season December 2013

Here’s a preview from The FruitGuys regional produce buyers of the fresh fruits and vegetables being harvested in December by some of our farms. To see what’s being delivered in your box this week, visit and choose your region.


Collard Greens

collard greensCollards are a cabbage species, but in the Acephala ("without a head") group. Only since its cultivation in America have Collards been distinguished from Kale – before both had been lumped together since ancient Rome into the vital greens department. These milder and smokier greens are fantastic sautéed in onion, garlic and oil, with a dash of red pepper.

Greens and Scapes Pesto

pesto1-transRecipe by The FruitGuys

4–5 cups collard greens (or other hearty greens), stems removed and coarsely chopped
1/2–3/4 cup garlic scapes, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pecans or pistachio nuts (you may try other nuts too, but these pair really nicely with the garlic scapes)
Salt and pepper to taste


Pasta with Kale and Mushrooms

kale-mushroom-transRecipe by The FruitGuys

Pasta of choice (enough to serve 4)
Kale, one bunch, coarsely chopped (about 6–8 cups)
2 cups mushrooms, diced
½ cup onion, thinly sliced (or more, to taste)
1–2 tablespoons olive oil
1–2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated parmesan or asiago cheese
½ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)


Southern Style Collards

Courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop


1 bunch collard greens
2 cups chopped leeks (white & light green parts only) or 1 onion, chopped finely
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
2 to 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 (or more) teaspoon of hot pepper sauce (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

White Bean and Collard Green Soup

New Year’s Beans and Greens

Adapted from


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 medium-size onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked black-eyed peas*
1 bunch collard greens, chopped
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon hot sauce

*Do Ahead—Soak and cook the beans:

Sweet Potatoes (or Yams), Apples, and Braising Greens

Adapted from


3 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (firm), plus 2 tablespoons melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters
6 cups loosely packed braising greens, such as chard or collards, stems removed and coarsely chopped into 2-inch strips


Southern Collard Greens

Adapted from

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 of a large onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch collard greens, washed, ribs removed, and green leaves chopped
3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
1 dozen cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


ӢHeat oil and butter in a large pot (with a lid) over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion.

”¢Sauté the onion until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

ӢAdd the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook another minute.