In the short days of winter, dark leafy greens are at their best: celebrate the beauty of kale, collard greens, chard and more in nutrient-packed dishes.
Dark leafy greens are particularly rich in vitamins A, C and K. Collards, mustard greens and escarole are also excellent sources of folate, important for women of child-bearing age. You may have avoided these nutritious greens in the past because of their bitter reputations, but when you pair them with judicious amounts of intensely flavorful ingredients—like feta cheese, bacon and walnuts—it is easy to balance their bitterness. Now is the time to celebrate the dark side this winter and welcome these beautiful greens into your kitchen.
A type of chicory (whose botanical name, cichorium intybus, means “January plant”), escarole has tender, broad, pale green leaves that can be eaten raw in salads or lightly cooked in soups, pasta or as a side dish. Seek out escarole near other lettuces in your supermarket. Balance its bitter flavor with a touch of sweetness—think chunks of apple in a salad or dried fruit in a sauté.