Collards Challenge at East Lake Farmer’s Market

The newly resurrected East Lake Farmer’s Market is hosting a Collards Cook-off on opening day (May 1st).  Over on the Oakhurst Message Board, East Lake Market co-founder Amy Williams taunts cocky collards cookers with promises with regional bragging rights if they enter the contest.

As a deprived transplant, I think it’s a dang feet in itself that I even LIKE collards, but no one should expect me to rattle off my top 5 picks, starting with my great-grandmother’s recipe extending down through an array of local spots hidden in dingy strip-mall corners of Atlanta.  I just don’t have the background.  I chalk it up to nurture over nature.

So I’m curious, my more nurtured collards colleagues, where do you get your best collards and what is it exactly makes them so darn tasty?

8 thoughts on “Collards Challenge at East Lake Farmer’s Market”

      1. Collards will continue to grow until the weather gets too warm – June sounds about right. However, collards are a fall planting here in the south and taste best – many old timers say – if harvested after the first frost. I think of fresh collard as more of a Thanksgiving food than a spring food. I eat store bought collards year round but still think of them as a fall crop here in the south.

        You can’t lose with a collard cook off. I personally would add a “pone” of cornbread.

  1. I like to use Chorizo in mine. It gives them a bit of a different taste than the standard ham hock, but it really goes well with them.

  2. I love the honey and cider collards at Agave. They are sweet, tangy, spicy, and a little smokey.

  3. I love collards! They are just about as green & Southern tasting as you could every hope to find in a food! It’s always most enjoyable to get them at a farmer’s market or a roadside stand. I don’t cook them with meat, but some of my favorite ways:

    Southern style cooked in a pot with turnip roots & seasoned with 2 large veggie bouillon cubes & a big glug of olive oil (pretty good pot likker substitute.) A dash of peppered vinegar once on the plate is nice too.

    Cut into ribbons & sauteed with LOTS of garlic in olive oil. Yum! (Fancy it up with pine nuts—or bacon– if you like.)

    And I bag them up & freeze them too. Great for zapping a bowlful in the microwave, then drizzling with balsamic vinegar. Or adding a handful to a big old pot of soup.

    I love all our Southern vegetables!

  4. Thanks for promoting this! I am the Director & Founder of the ELF Market, and our first cook off was a hit. A local amateur, Adrienne Howard swept the amateur and peoples choice awards, and Watershed won for best Professional entry.
    True, the most tender collards are in the fall, but they are certainly popular as long as they are available. We close after October till May, so opening the farmers market with a celebration for the season just ending seemed about right, and just enough of a challenge.
    For next year, we are already planning to add a cornbread competition.
    for more info visit or cpome see us every Saturday from 9-1 at 2nd & Hosea

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