A Guide to Leafy Greens
How to Choose and Store Greens
Fresh greens should be crisp and unwilted (no slimy leaves). Separate beet and turnip greens from their roots before storing. Loosely wrap greens in slightly damp paper towels, then place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Wash just before using.
Don’t stop at stir-fries. Fold these sweet, vitamin C–packed leaves raw into salads, slaws, or even chicken noodle soup.
See how to buy, store, and prepare bok choy.
They’re brilliant with ham hocks, as every southerner knows. But this fiber-rich favorite is more versatile than you might think: Try collards sliced raw with avocado and sesame seeds, or baked with Gruyère in a creamy gratin.
Tied with kale as the most nutritious of all the greens, it delivers more than a dozen flavonoids (anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting compounds) and half the recommended dose of vision-maintaining vitamin A in one ½-cup serving. Eat it morning (in an omelet or a smoothie), noon (in a salad or a wrap), and night (any way you can imagine).
See how to buy, store, and prepare spinach.
These peppery, vitamin K–loaded leaves are best served simply: sautéed with olive oil and garlic (the traditional Greek way), or tossed into a salad in place of arugula.
It’s the It Vegetable for a reason: Bursting with vitamin C, kale makes a wicked Caesar salad, brightens soups, and will even supercharge a pesto. You can use the two most common varieties—Tuscan kale (also called lacinato or dinosaur) and curly kale—interchangeably.
See how to buy, store, and prepare kale.
If you haven’t had this spicy, calcium-packed green, you’re missing out. Heavenly sautéed with bacon, or braised and sprinkled with toasted nuts.
See how to buy and store turnip greens.
What grows together goes together: Thinly slice these strong, potassium-rich leaves and mix them with shredded raw beets for a surprising salad, or combine the torn leaves with still-warm roasted beets so that they wilt.
See how to buy and store beet greens.
Need a break from spinach or kale? Sub in chard, a nutritional powerhouse in its own right. Use its slightly sweet stems and leaves to class up a pasta dish or add depth to a winter soup. (But note: The stems need extra cooking time, so chop them up and add them to the pan a few minutes before the leaves.)
See how to choose, store, and prepare chard.
It may look like romaine, but this bold and bitter green is 10 times as flavorful. Add it to a hearty lamb or beef stew to cut the richness and the fat. Plus, in just ½ cup you’ll find about 65 percent of your daily recommended bone-healthy vitamin K.
See how to choose, store, and prepare escarole.