Simple Cooked Greens

This recipe works for any of our bunched or head cooking greens – collards, kale, chard, bok choi, napa cabbage, turnip greens, mixed baby greens, etc., even radish and rutabaga greens.

Simgreens mixple Cooked Greens

Serves 4

Cooking greens in oil or butter over high heat until they are just wilted is a great way to give them an added richness while preserving their fresh taste and delicate texture. Wilted greens mix well with almost anything. They add sophistication to cooked grains or pasta. Topped with grated cheese, a cream sauce, or toasted nuts, they make a complete side dish; dressed with vinaigrette they become a delicious warm salad. They also make a great bed for meats, and are wonderful served on their own.

If using greens with a hearty or hard stem, such as chard, choi, kale or collards, cut out the stems, chop them and sautee separately before adding the leaves, to give them time to cook.

  • 3 Tablespoons butter, olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves; optional) or same amount onion or scallions
  • 1 pound greens, rinsed, torn or chopped into bite-size pieces. See comment on stems, above.
  • Salt and/or pepper and/or more oil, to taste
  1. Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add garlic or onion (if using) and saute for one minute.
  2. Add the greens immediately after rinsing them, with the water still clinging to the leaves. Cover; cook for 1 minute with tender greens such as spinach, de-stemmed chard, radish/turnip greens, or mixed baby greens.  For heartier greens such as collards, kale, add a cup of water and the stems, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Then add the greens and cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Uncover skillet, salt to taste (which also helps keep the greens a bright green) and give them a good flip and stir. Cover again and continue cooking until the greens are bright green yet tender, and wilted to your taste.  For spinach and other tender greens, this will be only another 1-2 minutes; chard, another 3-5 minutes; kale or collards could take up to 20 minutes – check them  periodically and be sure to add more water if it boils away.
  4. Season with pepper and additional oil or butter to taste.

Adapted from Farmer John’s Cookbook – the Real Dirt on Vegetables by Farmer John Peterson and Angelic Organics (one of my most-used and favorite cookbooks – Rifqa).