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Collards in place of spinach?

daislander Mar 12, 2014 07:29 PM

After reading a recent 'minestrone' thread I feel the urge to make soup tonight. At my local shop they have collards in. I am on the west coast of canada and have only seen collards in the store a few times but a lot more in the last 2 yrs. I have never eaten them or cooked with them. I like to put a spinach or chard in my soup can I use collards? I think you have to cook them a lot longer? so maybe stew them for 30mins in broth before adding first veggies so will cook about a hour total? Or will the flavour be overpowering or unsuitable? Just eat them plain as Ive seen on tv shows?

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  1. ipsedixit RE: daislander Mar 12, 2014 07:34 PM

    Aside from texture, and cooking time, which you seem to be aware of, collards also taste quite different from spinach.

    Where spinach can almost have a very delicate floral sweetness to them, collards can be, and are, quite bitter (esp in comparison to spinach).

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit
      c oliver RE: ipsedixit Mar 12, 2014 08:03 PM

      My opinion is biased by the fact that I grew up in Atlanta :) I find collards quite mild. But nothing like spinach. And, yes, they need quite a bit more cooking than spinach.

    2. m
      magiesmom RE: daislander Mar 12, 2014 08:10 PM

      I find collards to have a more interesting flavor than spinach in soup .

      1 Reply
      1. re: magiesmom
        c oliver RE: magiesmom Mar 12, 2014 08:13 PM

        Oh, goodness, so do I.

      2. Ttrockwood RE: daislander Mar 12, 2014 08:15 PM

        Definately use collards! I cut out the big stem in the middle and then slice fairly thin. They withstand cooking a long time, so its perfect for soup. Just treat it like cabbage.
        I don't find the flavor overwhelming but it is more similar to chard than spinach.

        1. daislander RE: daislander Mar 12, 2014 10:44 PM

          I am making soup tomorrow instead of tonight but like someone said I had a feeling it is going to be a much stronger taste. More like a chard/ spinach/broccoli leaf/dandy lion green? lol

          1 Reply
          1. re: daislander
            m
            Madrid RE: daislander Mar 13, 2014 07:33 AM

            it's hard to describe. It's definitely a more muted taste than broccoli rabe or dandelions....not as bitter. Earthier than spinach, so more like chard....but a really nice earthiness, kind of fullness, than spinach. As others have suggested, cut out the tough stem, shred very finely, cook a long time. It turns very tender and is full of calcium and other good things. Sorry, hard to describe...would love to hear what you think after you try!

          2. girloftheworld RE: daislander Mar 13, 2014 08:48 AM

            i also have found collards can give off more liquid when cooking almost like cabage so you may want to reduce some of your other liquids

            1. westsidegal RE: daislander Mar 13, 2014 10:34 AM

              flavor will be fine.
              imho, collards don't need to be cooked 30 minutes; i just cook them 5 minutes past the time they are wilted.

              2 Replies
              1. re: westsidegal
                c oliver RE: westsidegal Mar 13, 2014 10:37 AM

                Growing up in the South, I became accustomed to olive drab collards. In the mid70s I saw the light :) I now chiffonade them and cook like kale - not terribly long.

                1. re: c oliver
                  westsidegal RE: c oliver Mar 13, 2014 11:10 AM

                  depending on the dish, i will cook collard greens both ways.
                  in minestrone, i don't cook them very long and they don't take on that drab olive look,
                  when i cook the Ethiopian version of stewed collard greens though, i will cook them longer and they, therefore,end up looking a little more like southern collard greens.

              2. jrvedivici RE: daislander Mar 13, 2014 11:14 AM

                I do not find the two to be compatible for this nor many other dishes. They are very different in flavor and texture.

                As a possible suggestion if your market has escarole I would recommend that before collard greens.

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