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Old 12-29-2006, 04:34 PM   #1
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Smile Hello! What's the difference among greens?

I am trying to find out the difference in the flavors of the different greens--kale, turnip, collard, mustard, etc. Are some milder, some "peppery", or are they all pretty much the same? I want to try the ones I think we would like most, and work our way through. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 12-29-2006, 04:44 PM   #2
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Oh dear...what a ride range of tastes they all are. Why not start alphabetically and work your way through? It's fair and you get unbiased opinions...
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:51 PM   #3
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The reason I can't do that is because a friend told me that to serve greens on New Year's Day is good luck, so I want to serve them then--but have absolutely no idea which kind to buy. Children will be here, so I guess I want a milder flavor so they (might) eat them!
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:59 PM   #4
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Spinach is green...
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Old 12-29-2006, 05:05 PM   #5
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Mustard greens are my favorite!!! They can be a bit peppery smelling but if you simmer them with a ham bone or hock for 2 to 3 hours like I do; then they are not spicy tasting at all. I will take them over spinach, turnip, beet, or collard greens anyday!!!! Dandelion greens are good too as are radish greens.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:39 PM   #6
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You know, even lettuce would count for the kids. Our family comes down on collards. I love turnip greens and have found a good brand of canned ones with nice seasoning. You may want to consider starting from frozen for collards, etc. because they do take a bit of cooking time. AND cleaning if you start from fresh!! Lots of grit and dirt.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:45 PM   #7
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My DH was from the South and insisted on Black Eyed Peas..never heard of Greens on N.Y.'s day
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:46 PM   #8
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I've only had kale in soup, but the others I've had. Mustard greens are peppery, but very good. Turnips are good too, but I don't like the roots included. Collards, I can't stand the taste or the texture of. Spinach is very good in salads, but I don't like it's texture cooked either. I'm not usually picky about food, but collards and cooked spinach are on a very short list of things I don't like.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:47 PM   #9
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Supposedly, Dove, the greens insure wealth for the New Year. But the friend who told me about it didn't know one green from another, just like me!
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:01 PM   #10
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i eat black eyed peas, greens and cabbage on new years day with cornbread and ham....we even put a penny in the BEPs and whoever gets it is supposed to be financially good in the next year... or however you would put it
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:52 PM   #11
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Kale,Turnip,Collard,Mustard Greens have a "strong" texture and taste.
Why not try escarole greens? Milder in taste. Mild-flavored- beet tops,Chicory (outer leaves). Collards,Escarole,Lettuce(outer leaves). Spinach. Strong-flavored-Kale,mustart greens, swiss chard,turnip greens.
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:10 PM   #12
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If you do not know anything about greens (like the seasonings) and you are not used to eating them, they can cause diaherria, gas cramps, and nausea.

It is okay to have cabbage and make it the way that you like it. A holiday really isn't a good day for trying something this new. They have to be seasoned with salt pork or something similiar.

They are generally included as a southern tradition. People don't eat blackeyed peas on New Years in Illinois. They just have a nice meal and what can be luckier than that.
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:11 PM   #13
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I have relatives from the South and they say Black Eyed Peas are for good luck.....however, if you still want a green try collard greens with bacon and minced onion. Yum!
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:31 AM   #14
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not only do different greens have different flavors; from sweet to peppery, to nutty, even bitter. texture is another consideration. some are tough, some stringy, others tender, yet still others crispy.

what's more confusing is that greens are greatly affected by the temps and amount of sunlight/angle of the sun that they are grown in, as well as the composition of the soil. at different times of the year, in different climes and soils, you'll get different flavors from various greens.

sorry to be so vague, but it's that varied a subject.

i always taste a tiny bit of the greens i'm about to buy. some are so bitter that they are over the top, even when bitter is necessary to the recipe. some are so bland, i'll go with another green that is "in season".
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:43 AM   #15
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Kale is pretty mild when cooked. Swiss chard is nice too, especially if you get the colored varieties!
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:28 AM   #16
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respectfully sarah, kale can be tough and flavorless. it depends on the variety and growing conditions. otherwise, i'd agree that they are 2 good choices for greens. taste them first before buying.

i've seen the color in swiss chard runs out when cooked thru. it might retain some color if quickly blanched and shocked, tho. i dunno; never tried that.

i highly recommend that anyone with the availability of a garden try growing various greens in spring, as soon as the nightime temps are above 40F.

start with spinach, swiss chard, and individual or mixed leaf lettuces. graduate to head lettuce, escarole, arrugula, endive, and cabbages. if you have good soil and sun and few other gardens around (bugs), try broccoli and broccoli rabe, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts.

you'll learn about greens if you try to grow them, whether you like it or not. they're easy to grow, and are a good starter for a learning gardener. since they grow in short seasons comparitively, problems are evident and repaired quickly, in most cases.
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Old 12-30-2006, 04:10 AM   #17
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Personally, I do not like bitter greens like dandelions, chicory, endives etc although they have medicinal properties. I will go for lettuce, kale, beet leaves, spinach and leeks anytime. BTW, leeks are eaten by Chinese during Chinese New Year for good luck.
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:23 AM   #18
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I recently outdid myself with a simple swiss chard recipe (if I do say so).

Chopped up the chard, simmered it, WITH chopped fresh garlic in a can of beef broth just until tender (about 15 minutes, surprisingly). Added a little butter, a few drops of malt vinegar, a few drops of sesame oil (the last 2 are optional) and served in small bowls, to slurp all the liquid. Ooo baby! You can drain off the broth, but I didn't have the heart to, since it tasted so delicious.

Next time I will use less beef broth, but wouldn't make any other changes.

Simmering the fresh garlic with the chard, instead of sauteeing it in butter first, resulted in a nice, soft, mild garlic. I discovered that when, being lazy, I first boiled sliced garlic along with the potatoes to make garlic mashed potatoes. Now I do it all the time.

I like the idea that serving greens at New Year's means prosperity, so I'll adopt it myself! I have a bag of spinach in the fridge (first one since the e coli outbreak, so I hope it's not BAD luck for me!). I will try some sort of creamed spinach recipe for the first time.

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Old 12-31-2006, 05:53 PM   #19
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Well I suppose I will chime in...in that I grow the things behind the house..

Try to buy fresh...there is no comparison in frozen or canned. It's like they are not the same thing.

Mustard is the mildest and usually the tenderest.
Turnips next with the greens being somewhat bitter...
Collards...I do not grow nor eat..are usually strong and somewhat tough

They can be flavored with the usual seasoning meats...bacon, ham hock, bit of ham, are my favorite. Also smoked or fresh neck bones (pork) pig tails, smoked turkey legs etc.

Age of plants etc. affects taste/tenderness/bitterness etc. If buying fresh try to find smaller leaves.

Turnip roots..when cooked add a "sweetness" to the pot.

My favorite...Mustard or Mustard/turnip mix seasoned with bacon/ham with Turnip roots added toward the end of cooking...I also prefer them on the salty side.

They are usually an aquired taste...so I would not figure on 'kids" liking them.

It is somewhat of a tradition in the south (among the older generations) to eat greens on New Years Day along with balck-eyed peas and corn bread.

Peas are.. coins
Greens are... cash
cornbread is... gold
Thus a prosperous New year....
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:53 PM   #20
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I'm a fanatic for any kind of greens. Has anyone tried beet greens? I grew up on them as a kid, and love them still. If you're new to greens, try these, too.
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