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Food

A guide to greens

Russ Parsons
The California Cook
California Cook @Russ_Parsons1 offers his guide to cooking greens

Here's a vest-pocket guide to which green is which.

Kale: Today's darling salad green has always been one of the best cooking greens. The flavor mellows nicely; the texture is tender. Befitting its star status, there are a variety of kales available today, and the darkest tend to be the best flavored.

Collard: A Southern specialty, collards have a mild flavor, but the thick leaves have a rich, meaty texture when cooked.

Mustard: Wonderfully peppery, mustard greens have strong flavor but a delicate texture.

Chard: Slightly bitter when raw, the sweet, earthy side of chard comes out with cooking. Red chard has a touch of beet flavor. It's equally prized for its stalks and greens, which are usually cooked separately.

Dandelion: The bitterest of the greens, with cooking it remains assertive but turns more earthy and nutty.

Turnip and beet: Tender leaves that taste like milder versions of the roots.

russ.parsons@latimes.com

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