How to Cook Greens……for St. Patricks Day!

Ok, I’m from the South, what can I say…. I love greens!   I got Kale in my Gaia’s Greens box last week, and Collards this week so it was time to cook up some greens!  And then when I realized it’s almost St. Patricks Day and Greens are, well….Green, I knew for sure that this was something our readers would want to know about.   I mean just think about it … Corned Beef & Greens, Irish Stew & Greens … it works!

Some people think that greens have to cook forever, but really about 20-30 minutes will do nicely.   Like most things, they get better as they sit, so sometimes I’ll cook them ahead and let them sit for a little while before eating them.    It’s perfectly fine to mix greens if you’d like, just try to combine similar textures.  For example, turnip greens have a tender leaf and cook quickly, and collards and kale have a thicker leaf so will take longer to cook.

To prepare the greens for cooking, wash them thoroughly.   If I have a lot of greens to wash, I’ll fill up the sink with water about an inch or two over the greens and swish them around to remove any dirt.  The dirt will sink down and the greens will be on top.

Next, cut off any tough stems.  I like to cut the stems off just below the bottom of the leaf.  My dogs love the stems so I save them for a doggie snack or compost them.   Then I stack up the leaves on top of each other and cut them into about 2-3 inch pieces.  You can also tear them, but cutting is easier.    You can buy kale and collards in bags already cut up which makes it really simple, but of course, the fresher the better.

This recipe makes about 6 servings.

  • 6-8 cups of fresh collards, kale or other greens
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt (more or less to taste)

Put everything into a large pot.  The liquids will not cover the greens at this point, but once they cook down you want the liquid to be just at the top of the greens.

Bring it to a boil and you’ll see that they start to cook down pretty quickly.  Stir them occasionaly to make sure the pieces on top get to the bottom.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.   If these need to sit for a few minutes longer while the rest of dinner is finishing up that’s fine.  Just turn the heat off and let them sit.

I’m serious that I think these would be great with corned beef or Irish stew!  For a vegetarian meal, serve with cornbread, beans & rice.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! :-)

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