Thursday, April 21, 2011


Don't let these photos fool you into thinking our garden is in full on spring/summer mode. The collards we planted this spring are currently mere leaflings, towering only about two or three inches above the soil. Meanwhile the above two collard plants somehow managed to survive through the winter without a hint of bitterness.

First, a memory. I've been a vegetarian now for thirteen or so years but when I was a kid, apparently it was a struggle to get me to eat my vegetables. Because I remember one particular occasion when my dad drew a picture of me sitting in front of a plate of peas, with a fork and spoon beside the plate. Clearly he knew I was a visual learner. I don't remember what happened after that but I suspect I ate my peas.

Well lately I have discovered I have a real fondness for collards and kale, since my husband and I have been growing them in our garden over the past couple years. And I would like to share with you one of my favorite quick ways to prepare collards. It is tasty and simple, which is just the kind of food I like.

Collards over Polenta
Prepare the polenta. When cooking various grains, I always consult the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home for the correct water/grain ratio. For polenta, use three parts water to one part cornmeal. Then I add in a little Better Than Bouillon vegetarian broth to the cooking water for the polenta. When the water boils add the corn meal in a steady stream, stirring. Put a lid on it and let cook on low until done, about ten to twenty minutes.

Prepare the collards. Wash a bunch of fresh collard leaves and cut away any large stems. Then roll the leaves and cut into large pieces. In a medium saucepan saute a clove or two of garlic in a little butter then add the collards. Stir briefly then put the lid on the pan to let them begin to steam. After a couple minutes check and stir. Add fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, sea salt, and a few drops of sriracha sauce and stir. Cover again and let cook about eight more minutes. I don't let the greens cook too long, just till they are softened and still nice and green. Serve over the polenta and add a little fresh parmesan and cracked pepper.  This summer when we start getting tomatoes, I'll probably chop up some tomatoes to add to the top.

This is so satisfying you won't need anyone to draw a picture of you eating them to convince you they're good.

4/21/11 garden notes:
`picked first two radishes
`harvested first batch of spinach
`planted more lettuce
`the strawberry flowers are starting to close
`it never really rained


  1. this looks amazing! i'm definitely going to try it, once we get some collards :)

    and i love your garden notes!

  2. Miss H! I love it here.

    And is it too late to plant Kale?

  3. Thanks Julia!

    A- You'll probably be alright w/ the kale, it does like cool weather. I've read that you can also plant kale in the late summer and harvest after frost. The frost apparently improves it.