Wm. Consalo & Sons Farm in New Jersey
Standard Asparagus – The fleshy green spears of asparagus are both succulent and tender and have been considered a delicacy since ancient times. Thin asparagus does not require peeling. Asparagus with thick stems should be peeled because the stems are usually tough and stringy. Remove the tough outer skin of the bottom portion of the stem (not the tips) with a vegetable peeler. Wash asparagus under cold water to remove any sand or soil residues. It is best to cook asparagus whole.
Richardson Farm in Maryland
Collard Greens – Collards are one of the oldest members of the cabbage family. To help collard greens to cook more quickly, evenly slice the leaves into 1/2-inch slices and the stems into 1/4-inch pieces. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out the health-promoting qualities and steam for 5 minutes. Fresh collards can be stored for 3-5 days. To extend the life of your collards, trim the ends off by a centimeter and wrap in wet paper towel; store in the vegetable drawer. Once cooked, collards can be frozen and stored for a few months.
Kale – Kale is a dark green, leafy vegetable that adds a distinctively sharp and nutty taste to salads as well as cooked dishes, and its intense burst of flavor is enough to pull anyone out of winter hibernation. Kale’s strong, peppery flavor helps it stand up to strong meats and adds another layer of zip to salads and stir-fry. Try it on its own or in combination with other, equally robust foods. Kale is best kept in a plastic bag pierced for aeration, and it lasts in the refrigerator 3-4 days. Rinse it well under cold water; if centre stems are large, strip the leaves from the stem with a sharp knife. Steam about eight minutes and it will be nicely crunchy; steam 30 to 40 minutes to give it a soft texture similar to cooked spinach. Sliced or shredded kale will require less cooking time.