Cooking with the seasons and eating healthier both involve getting pretty darn comfortable with leafy greens. They’re everywhere, but for some reason, they haven’t started teaching kale cookery in schools yet. We think that with a little bit of knowledge, any vegetable can become a lovable part of your next meal. Here’s what you need to know about the trendy forest of leafy greens out there:
Why we love it: Chard’s jaw-dropping colors, lengthy list of health benefits, milder flavor, and more tender texture than it’s other leafy greens (we’re looking at you, kale), make it a charismatic wonder ingredient!
Fun fact: Chard is in the same family as beets, whose greens taste a lot like chard! No need to compost those beauties!
What ingredients to pair it with: Lemon, onions, garlic, chile flakes, pasta, and red wine vinegar.
Try this recipe: Wilted chard with shallots and vinegar
Why we love it: All the hype aside, kale is a remarkably versatile vegetable, equally delicious roasted, sautéd, stewed, massaged into a decadently healthy salad, or even thrown on top of a pizza.
Fun fact: Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, packed full of as much calcium as a glass of milk, more vitamin C than an orange, and noteworthy amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, and even protein!
What ingredients to pair it with: Olive oil, parmesan cheese, thyme, garlic, and veggie stock.
Try this recipe: Green tacos
Why we love them: They can keep in the fridge for longer than other leafy greens and are the perfect addition to hearty stews, especially ones with beans.
Fun fact: Collard greens can help lower your dietary cholesterol!
What ingredients to pair them with: Bacon, oregano, tomatoes, beans, and apple cider vinegar.
Try this recipe: Collard greens with caramelized onions
Why we love them: While other greens are non-descript and mainly there for the texture and nutrients, mustard greens have a bold, peppery, and unapologetic flavor that needs little else to shine.
Fun fact: Mustard greens are eaten all over the world and feature prominently in Nepali, Pakistani, West African, and Korean cuisine!
What ingredients to pair them with: Black-eyed peas, ham hocks, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
Try this recipe: Indian-style mustard greens