There Is A Season: Collard greens stand out in salad

  • A chiffonade cut and a quick boil turn collard greens into a great start for a salad. MOLLY PARR

For the Gazette
Published: 10/2/2020 4:43:51 PM

“Have I really made it to October without talking about leafy greens?” I recently asked my husband.


“No one likes leafy greens. They’re bitter and need cooking,” he replied. Then I served him this collard, hazelnut and grape salad and changed his mind.

People always talk about kale, but collard greens never get the respect they deserve.They’re full of iron, B6, and vitamins A and K. This summer I boiled some for about four minutes and then added them to a pan with leeks and heavy cream. Divine! Like creamed spinach but with some tooth.

For this salad, I soaked the collard leaves in a few rounds of cold water in a big bowl. Then, I composted the ends of the stems, rolled up the leaves, and sliced them into 2 inch thick pieces, like a fat chiffonade. I boiled them as I would pasta, in salty-like-the-sea water, then drained it.

Red grapes, like apples in September, find their way into October dishes. I tend to serve a dish of roasted butternut squash, leeks, sage and grapes during Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival we are now celebrating. I just came across a YottamOttolenghi salad with thinly sliced fennel, halved red grapes and pistachio that I know I’ll be trying soon. Joshua McFadden has a similar recipe to this one, but with freekah, a green wheat found in the Eastern Mediterranean.

As for the hazelnuts, I like the price and taste of ones from Trader Joe’s. I store those, along with all my other nuts, in the freezer to keep them from spoiling.


I think letting the red wine vinegar and garlic marry for a few minutes with the rest of the ingredients is well worth the time. I added a sliced leek from the CSA to the water when I boiled the greens; feel free to leave it out if you don’t have any on hand.

Collard green, grape and hazelnut salad


1 bunch collard greens

1 leek, sliced (optional)

½ cup red seedless grapes

One quarter cup roasted, unsalted hazelnuts, chopped

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste

1 clove of garlic, minced


Prepare the collards as described above. Add the chiffonade leaves, and the leek if you are using it, to salty-like-the-sea water and boil for four minutes. Drain.

While the collards (and leek) boil, add a minced garlic clove, and a small pinch of kosher salt, to the vinegar in a large bowl. Once the greens have drained, add those to the bowl, along with the grapes and hazelnuts. Mix wel — I used my hands — to combine.

Wait at least 10 minutes to serve.

Molly Parr lives in Florence with her husband and two young daughters. She's been writing her food blog, Cheap Beets, since 2010. She was furloughed from Smith for the summer and is using the time to work on her first cookbook. Send questions or comments to

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