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Summer Fest: Collard Greens and Cherry Reduction

March 21, 2012
It’s cherries week at Food Network’s Summer Fest, a season-long food and garden celebration where Food Network editors team up with blogs to share tips and recipes for Summer’s best fruits and vegetables. This week, we want to share a simple recipe combining sweet cherries with fresh collard greens. Both have an important place in the history of Southern food. Here are some fun facts about each. Remember to check out the other Summer Fest blog posts below for other great ways to enjoy cherries this summer.Cherries, a member of the rose family, are a natural source of vitamins C and A, fiber, potassium, and iron. According to the USDA, eating cherries may help to counteract cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and cancer.Would it surprise you to know that we've been eating cherries since 10,000 B.C.?  According to Mark Rieger, Professor of Horticulture at the University of Georgia, "birds may have carried [the sweet cherry] to Europe prior to human civilization."The Cambridge World History of Foodtells us that fermented cherry juice was an alcoholic  beverage enjoyed long before anyone first considered making wine from grapes. Recipes for cherry relish, cherry pie, and cherry cobbler date back to the first Southern cookbooks.  Lettice Bryan's The Kentucky Housewife, published in 1839, contains recipes for cherry sauce, cherry butter, cherry pudding, iced cherry juice, and cherry-flavored water. That's a lot of space on the page dedicated to a single fruit.Collard greens are a staple in Southern cuisine and in our world at Glory Foods. As one of the foundation foods in Southern cooking, it is believed that African farmers brought seeds of this nutritional "superfood" to the U.S. and taught the Europeans how to grow it.  Then, as now, a soul-food dinner is unimaginable without a mess 'o greens.Collards are naturally low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins K, A, and C.  They're a great source of calcium and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin E and zinc.  Collard greens are in a family of vegetables known to help prevent cancer, detoxify the body, and fight inflammation that causes disease. They contain the highest fiber of all green leafy vegetables and are a natural weight-loss food.Our recipe for collard greens in a cherry reduction is simple, healthful, and got rave reviews in our test kitchen. We hope you'll try it and tell us what you think.


1 cup (about 1/2 lb.) of dark sweet cherries, pitted and quartered1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar2 tablespoons of olive oil1 pinch of salt1 package of Glory Foods Fresh Collard Greens2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped1/4 cup of water

Directions: Cherry Reduction

  1. Combine 2/3 of the cherries, along with the vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and salt in a saucepan, and bring to a gentle boil over medium to medium-low heat
  2. Let the liquid reduce until cherries are softened and the liquid begins to thicken (about 15 minutes)
  3. Remove saucepan from heat, pour into a bowl, and set aside

Directions: Collard Greens

  1. Saute the garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and about 1/3 of the cherries over medium heat until the garlic is golden-brown
  2. Gradually mix in the collard greens and water, and stir until the collards are wilted
  3. Pour reduction on top, and serve warm

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What’s your favorite way to eat cherries? Do you have a favorite dish or desert that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments, or join in the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #cookingwith.Be sure to visit the other Summer Fest blog posts for even more cherry tips, ideas, and recipes:What’s Gaby Cooking: Cherry Chocolate Truffle Ice CreamBig Girls Small Kitchen: Cherry Cornmeal CakeCooking With Elise: Roasted Cherries with Lavender and Almond Panna CottaDaydreamer Desserts: Cherry Crumble CakeIngredient Challenge Monday: Black Forest Ice Cream Done Two WaysSpices and Aroma: Dilkush with CherriesAnd Love It Too: Cherry-Pecan Chicken SaladFN Dish: The Ultimate Cherry PieDaily*Dishin: Simple French Cherry ClafoutiGlory Foods: Collard Greens and Cherry ReductionChez Us: Gluten-Free Cherry ClafoutisFood for 7 Stages of Life: South Indian Hot and Sour SoupVirtually Homemade: Dark Chocolate Cherry KuchenIn Jennie’s Kitchen: Cherry ConservesThe Sensitive Epicure: Gluten-Free Cherry Almond ClafoutiCooking Channel: Very Cherry SangriaNapa Farmhouse 1885: Cherry Balsamic VinegarZaika Zabardast: Balsamic Cherry and Peach CrispMooshu Jenne: Rainier Cherry Panna CottaFood2: A Very Cherry Recipe Round-UpVirtually Vegan Mamma: Fresh Cherry and Almond SconesCIA Dropout: Italian Cherry CakeSweet Life Bake: Honey-Tequila Pickled CherriesCooking With Books: Cherry CoolerRecipe Girl: Cherry Limeade Pound Cake

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