Greens: Alternative cooking

I like greens, but I basically cook them one of two ways:
[ul][li]Collard greens: Boiled with a smoked ham hock[/li][li]Kale: Boiled with no meat[/ul][/li]I’ve had kale ‘chips’. (Was is needscoffee who suggested them a few years ago?) But I’m thinking of a side-dish as opposed to a snack. Leftover kale gets mixed with mashed potatoes for colcannon.

What are some different and tasty ways to cook collard greens or kale that aren’t just boiling? (FWIW, it’s easier to get curly kale here than the more flat kind.)

Hrm…I’d suggest a rough chop and quick stir-fry, but I suspsect that without some long-term cooking that the greens are going to be rather bitter. Maybe fried with chopped garlic, as which works well with spinach?

For spinach or kale, I’ve sauteed them in a little bacon grease with some chopped scallions and crumbled bacon. If you have any leftover, they’re excellent in scrambled eggs.

I was thinking that greens would be good sautéed with bacon and chopped onions. Might be good with fried catfish. (Though as much as I like tastypig, it would be nice to make it without too much fat.)

Yes. I always go with the sautee. You can also use pearl onions, which will break down and can kind of be mashed up with the greens.

One trick with greens that’s worked for me is using balsamic vinegar to take it away from the bitter realm altogether.

I suggested this somewhere else, but will do it here again – why not cream it like spinach?

Interesting idea. I’m not a huge fan of creamed veg, though. (I won’t go out of my way to have creamed spinach, though I will definitely have saag paneer.)

To remove the bitter taste from kale and other types of cabbage (kale is some kind of cabbage, right?) try cutting it into very thin strips and crush it with a generous amount of salt in your hands. Leave it in a bowl for a few minutes and wash the salt out with water.
The majority of the bitter flavors should be removed, and the cabbage/kale can be eaten as is, dressed as a salad or even quickly pickled with a bit of sugar, some white vinegar, and perhaps some spices like black pepper and caraway seeds. Or chop it very finely along with a few apples, stir in a bit of cream, and you have a wonderful salad.

Here is a Martha Stewart recipe we used last night with kale. Which was really very good.

I think skipping the chicken and just making it as a rice & greens side dish would be tasty.

One-pot Chicken and Rice with Swiss Chard

  • 4 chicken leg quarters (about 2 pounds total), patted dry
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (10 ounces), stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces, leaves
    torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 medium carrots, diced medium
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated
  • Lemon zest, plus wedges for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth


Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven or other
heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high. Add chicken, skin side
down, and cook until browned on both sides, 12 minutes, turning once. With
tongs, transfer chicken to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, chard stems, onion, and carrots.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until chard stems and onion are translucent, 4
minutes. Add chard leaves, lemon zest, and rice; cook 1 minute. Add broth
and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce to a simmer and season with salt and
pepper. Arrange chicken, skin side up, on top of rice mixture and cook,
covered, until chicken is cooked through and liquid is absorbed, about 25
minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.


Stir fry with garlic, and ginger, and just a hint of teriyaki (to balance the bitter)…


Steam it.

I sautee them with a huge mess of chopped onions and garlic, with a splash of soy sauce towards the end. You can also add chopped tomatoes or cayenne pepper. After everything is in the pan, cover and simmer, stirring now and then, until they are tender enough for your liking. I slice them into thin ribbons to help with the tenderness.