Fans of soul food know how good collard greens taste slow-braised with a ham hock. But this superfood can flex its muscle just as deliciously on a weeknight. Kale and spinach? Watch out.

By Recipes: Jill Johnson
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Collard greens—rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese, with calcium and vitamin B6 as well—are easy to cook when you follow some basic prep tips:

Love Me Tender The center vein is tough. If you’re chopping, shredding or making ribbons, cut it out. If you need the whole leaf, shave it down.

Size Matters Collard greens can have elephant-ear proportions. For fast or raw uses, use smaller, thinner leaves. Save those big ones for the braises.

Git that Grit Fresh collard greens can be sandy, so wash them well by dunking in cold water and swishing them around. Then give ’em a good shake and pat dry.

Zap or Blanch Most recipes for collard green wraps call for blanching the leaves on the stove top, but we discovered zapping them in the microwave works just as well.

Here are four recipes that show off collard greens’ versatility and flavor.

Brie Passano

Thai Chicken Wraps Collard greens take the place of rice paper wraps for heartier and more nutritious spring rolls. Get the recipe.

Brie Passano

Chorizo-Potato Tacos with Collards Classic chorizo-potato tacos get a nutrition boost from hearty chopped collard greens in this weeknight-easy recipe. Get the recipe.

Brie Passano

Green Veggie Pasta Go green with three superfood veggies—collard greens, asparagus, and peas. It's delicious as a meat-free meal, but if you like, add some ham for extra flavor and protein. Get the recipe.

Brie Passano

Moroccan-Style Collard Salad Yes, you really can eat collard greens raw! The secret is slicing them into very thin ribbons, then seasoning with a bright, spiced citrus dressing. Get the recipe.