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Get to Know Your Greens

If you think escarole refers to Jay-Z's SUV, it's time for a veg-ucation. Get to know seven produce powerhouses that deserve a spot in your crisper.
Collard greens Collard Greens

"Most people use the same rotation of lettuce and spinach," says Andrea Giancoli, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "so they miss out on some of the tastiest, most nutritious vegetables." Our greens guide is here to help.

Collard Greens

This mild staple of Southern cuisine may be better at lowering artery-clogging cholesterol than broccoli or spinach, research has shown.

Fresh ideas: Try a lighter take on collards, which are traditionally cooked with pork fat: Remove the stems and slice the leaves into two-inch pieces; meanwhile, fry turkey bacon in olive oil. Crumble bacon and sauté it with the collards and garlic. Add enough chicken stock to just cover the greens, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for an hour, or until tender. "Cooking collards for a long time breaks down the tough fibers," says Aliza Green, a chef in Philadelphia and the author of Field Guide to Produce. Finish the dish with a splash of apple cider vinegar and red pepper flakes.

Collards resemble wide, flat cabbage leaves. Look for a deep green hue.