What’s Fresh in November? Collard Greens

The Southern comfort food tastes great and can be good for you!

Story by Maddie Bane

Winter is right around the corner, which means collard greens are ready to be devoured. Typically, this produce is offered year round, but purchasing or harvesting it in late fall or early winter has a couple of perks. After the first frost, the vegetable’s flavor is enhanced and actually becomes sweeter. Along with that, more nutrients are released, as well. With the endless options of all of the ways you can prepare collard greens, adding a few more nutrients into your meals will be a little easier. They are easy to find at local farmers’ markets or at your favorite grocery store this month. Or, if you prefer to eat out, there are plenty of options at local restaurants. Either way, it’s worth getting some collard greens in your life in November.

They’re magically nutritious

Collard greens do more than just serve as a side dish. They promote bone health, contain a high amount of vitamin A and are a great source of fiber. They also contain choline, which has been shown to help improve mood, sleep, muscle movement and memory functions.

Winter is coming

Collard greens are a cool-weather vegetable, so the ideal time to plant collard seeds in the Lowcountry is around October 1, which makes for a winter harvesting season. These seeds should be planted 18 to 24 inches apart in well-drained soil. In order to grow, it requires full sun and a weekly watering schedule. Once the leaves are dark green and around 10 inches long, they are ready to eat.

Where to get them

Collards are available for purchase at local grocery stores such as Publix, Harris Teeter and Kroger. You’ll also be able to find them at local farmers’ markets:

Tuesday: Hilton Head Farmers Market, Coastal Discovery Museum, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Thursday: Farmers Market of Bluffton, Carson Cottages, noon-5 p.m.

Friday: Jasper County Farmers Market, Main Street in Ridgeland, 1-6 p.m.

Saturday: Port Royal Farmers Market, Naval Heritage Park, 9 a.m.-noon

Made to order

If you’re out and about and craving some amazing collard greens, here are a few great restaurants where you can order them.

Chilled, chopped or cooked

Collards will keep best in the refrigerator. They can be used raw in salads and sandwiches, or blended in with smoothies and juices. If you steam, sauté or boil them, make sure to do so for no more than 10 minutes. Any longer, and they will start to lose their nutrients. They can also be tossed into the air fryer for a tasty, crunchy snack.

LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Creamy collard greens


2 large bunches collard greens, cut into strips with stems removed

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 large shallots, finely chopped

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions [1] Blanch the leaves in a large pot of boiling salted water. Once they soften within three to four minutes, transfer to a large bowl of ice water. [2] Add oil to a large pot over medium heat and cook the shallots until soft. [3] Add the flour and stir for two minutes, and then add the milk and heavy cream. Whisk often. [4] Once the liquids are at a boil, stir in the collard greens, while reducing to low heat. The greens should be ready to eat within 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper and serve.

LOCAL Life Test Kitchen –Turkey stuffed collard greens


8-10 medium sized collard leaves

1 package ground turkey

3/4 cup quinoa, cooked

1 can tomato sauce

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

1/2 large red pepper, seeded and chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Directions [1] Cut off the lower part of the leaf and boil for 5-7 minutes in order to soften. Pat dry and set aside. [2] Brown ground turkey and cook quinoa based on package instructions. Once cooked, mix together, along with the tomato sauce, onion, and red pepper. [3] Place a portion of the turkey and quinoa mixture into the center of the leaf. Roll up from the bottom and fold in the sides. [4] Place stuffed leaves in a baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and serve.

LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Shrimp & cheese grits over collard greens


1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 1/4 cups yellow grits

1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese

1 bunch collard greens

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoons cajun spice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions [1] Start by making your grits. Once removed from heat, add in the cheese and butter and stir until combined. [2] Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat, and put in the collards along with 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally for five to seven minutes. [3] Add in shrimp and cajun spice into the same pan. Stir occasionally until shrimp are cooked through. [4] Place the grits into bowls, and add the shrimp and collard mix on top.

Similar Posts