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How to Make Sturdy Greens Taste Summery

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Even though sturdy greens are grown year-round in many parts of the country, they often just feel like winter—making them harder to know how to use when the days are hot and you don't feel like braising or slow-cooking.

That's what happened to Senior Staff Writer Sarah Jampel this week when she received a bundle of collard greens in her CSA box and was in search of a way to make them​ feel more summery.

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She turned to the Hotline for help​ and couldn’t be-leaf (sorry) the number of warm weather-friendly dishes you came up with. Try them with all of your hearty greens!

  • MMH loves them in a refreshing phở and even adds twice as many greens as recipes call for since they reduce in size.

  • And don’t stop with phở, a number of Food52ers suggested adding hearty greens to any summer soup. Just follow pierino’s prep method (which is also Merrill's): “I stem them, layer a few leaves and roll those into tight cigars. With a sharp knife, I​ crosscut the cigars into thin filaments.”

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  • Valhalla and Susan W both suggested using the expansive, fan-like leaves of collards for wraps and roll-ups.

If you’re a vegetarian, just skip the fish in favor of tofu or extra vegetables.

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Collard Wraps with Herbed Cashew Spread and Roast Peppers

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  • Alexandra V. Jones says: “Collards are super delicious when substituted for spinach in spanikopita, and it's delicious served room temp with a salad. I always blanch my collards in nice salty water for about 2 minutes, squeeze out the water, and use in place of spinach.”

  • SexyLAMBCHOPx offers, “Stuff them in tomatoes, zucchini, potato or squash with other vegetables, cheese, and/or rice.”

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  • Trena Heinrich says: “One of my family's favorite adapted recipes for seasonal vegetables lately has been fried rice. I like to chop the greens really small and sauté them lightly before adding to the rest of the dish.”​
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Psst: Wondering what Sarah opted to make? She actually ended up making Alice Water’s Collard Greens with Cumin and Black Mustard Seed and serving it with a yogurty potato salad.

Tell us: How do you make hearty greens feel summery? Continue the conversation on the Hotline post or tell us in the comments below!

Tags: your burning questions, hotline, greens, collard greens