Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don’t Toss Those Collard Stems

We have been growing and eating collards for the past three years and the stems always feel so tough that I am prone to tearing collard leaves off their stems and tossing the stems into the kitchen compost bucket.  

(From the looks of that bucket I have yet to make peace with the mustards my husband insists he will cook and never does.)  Ah…but I digress!   I read recently that collard stems can be eaten
 if chopped small and cooked well. Since I am in a “use every inch of what you grow” frame of mind these days, my husband and I just ate collard stems for the first time.  They were so good that I would eat them again solo but what wonderful jazzer-uppers they were for last night's leftovers.

After small-chopping the stems, I simmered them in boiling water in a small pan.

They turned out very tender like a broccoli spear and tasted mildly like the collard greens.  I added the stems to that wonderful Asian Bean Sauce I made the other night after thinning the sauce with just a bit of beef broth and adding slivers of roast beef. Then I threw in chopped  leftover carrots.  Who said leftovers can't be colorful? 

I served this concoction on jasmine rice. The collard stems brought a tender texture to the dish with a mild collard flavor and the carrots brought a sweetness that complemented the beefy wine sauce.  We had scrumptious, juicy collard leaf greens on the side. (But, of course!)

Great meal, no waste, and so many new ideas are coming to me for using up those collard stems. Let’s see… soups, gravies, salads, cereal (just joking!)…

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  1. Thank you for this! I saved my stems tonight because I had a hunch there was something I could do with them! Kelly

  2. Thanks for posting, Kelly. so glad someone can benefit from our
    "experiment" with collard stems.