From HealthSource Grow Your Own: Collard Greens
Florida gardeners look forward to fall all year. Cucumbers are already climbing everything in reach and tomatoes and peppers are also in the ground, growing strong for an early October harvest. A slight cooling of the air hints at the fall weather coming. If you don’t have any winter vegetables planted yet, now is the perfect time to put in a garden!
“People should concentrate on greens like collards and mustard greens or broccoli, cauliflower… basically you plant everything that is a cold weather plant now,” local organic farm, KYV Farms, owner Francisco Arroyo tells us.
Greens are an easy way to start gardening. They’re sturdier and less likely to attract hungry caterpillars than summer crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Some of the hardiest of cold-weather plants, collards planted in fall gardens and kissed by frost are sweeter than those grown in the spring.
As the First Coast celebrates St. Augustine’s 450th Birthday, greens are also an easy way to use St. Augustine’s favorite Datil pepper.
“Some KYV members bring me hot, hot datil pepper sauces that they make,” Francisco says. He is no stranger to spicy foods but shares this alternative for those who just like a bit of heat in their food: “Some people just put one datil in their soup and leave it for 5 minutes then pull it out if they don’t want to have it too hot.”
Classic Southern comfort foods are on the rise in popularity. Serve our Datil Spiked Greens alongside stone ground grits or beside baked chicken and sliced tomatoes for a side dish that lowers cholesterol, is high in calcium, fiber and many vitamins.
Datil Spiked Collard Greens
1 Onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 carton vegetable broth
1 hearty bunch of collard greens, sliced using the chiffonade method
1 Datil Pepper, halved, seeded & stemmed or Dat’l Do It Sauce (available at Publix)
Saute onions in coconut oil & olive oil over medium-low heat until just starting to brown.
Stir in cut greens, broth and salt & pepper to season.
Steam/simmer greens 15 minutes, until beginning to tenderize.
Add 1 datil pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes to desired spiciness. Remove & discard pepper.
Taste, adjust seasonings and serve!
How to “Chiffonade” Greens
Lay the greens flat on the counter in a small stack.
Using a sharp paring knife, cut the stems out by slicing down each side of the stem the full length of the collard leaf.
Roll the leaves tightly (your roll will resemble a fat cigar)
Slice thinly down the full length of the roll.
Allie O. is a KYV member and a lover of all things local. Check out her local favorites in her blog, SimplyStAugustine.com. This article originally appeared in HealthSource Magazine, the magazine for healthy living in Northeast Florida!