Right now farmers markets are teeming with tables of leafy greens. There's everything from large, sturdy collards to delicate microgreens and painful sounding stinging nettles. Whether you're a die-hard kale lover, or the sight of it makes you cringe, there's no better time than right now to get a little adventurous and give these five greens a try!
1. Collard Greens
I keep hearing that collards are gearing up to be the new kale. I hope this is true because I think this leafy green is truly underrated. Aside from being all around delicious, collard greens are high in calcium, iron, fiber and vitamins, and have been associated with lowering cholesterol.
2. Swiss Chard
I love chard because it's way more exciting than spinach, more mild than many other greens and super versatile. While swiss chard (and rainbow chard - my favorite variety) can be found year round, they dominate the farmers market during the winter months.
3. Mustard Greens
Eaten raw, mustard greens are known for their peppery, pungent bite. Once cooked, however, the flavor mellows considerably, and sort of reminds me of a heartier version of spinach. You'll find these greens quite often in Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Southern cooking.
4. Dandelion Greens
If you've never tried dandelion greens, now is the perfect time! It's prime season and they're everywhere at the farmers market, especially here in New York. These greens have a peppery, slightly bitter taste, and their sturdiness makes them a great substitute for kale.
5. Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe, often referred to as rapini, is actually not even related to broccoli. It's a distant relative of the turnip (one of my favorite root vegetables!). It's used quite often in Italian cuisine, and has an earthy, peppery taste.
What's your favorite leafy green?
(Image credits: Kelli Dunn)