cooking leafy greens

I know, I know, I haven’t quite got the formatting around just right to actually make this presentable and useful for you. It’s a work in process for me. Thanks for your patience… Or your ideas of how to get it more presentable (scanning has mixed results, from my perspective).


if you click on any of these photos below, they will enlarge and be much more legible for all us humans.




greens glorious greens

cooking leafy greens








Collards, in particular


greens glorious greens

collard greens

collard twocollard one



GREENS – KALE, CHARD, COLLARD, swiss chard, arugula, spinach

Info below gathered from From Asparagus to Zucchini MACSAC. 2004.

fresh, raw “greens”

  • wash well in cool water bath to remove fine grit. (spin dry in your salad spinner. dry is good!)
  • try a salad mix of varied baby greens with no lettuce at all, or dilute down a pungent blend by tearing in extra lettuce.
  • many salad greens taste excellent lightly braised, sauteed, or stir-fried. Watch out! They cook very quickly.
  • Use sdalad greens to decorate a platter.
  • Toss green salad with dressing at the last minute to avoid sogginess.
  • toss salad with your choice of fresh herb leaves, such as basil, cilantro, dill or parsley.
  • pile your favorite salad greens into sandwiches, tacos, burritos, or omelets.
  • cook and add greens to quiches, lasagna, or other baked goods.

cooked greens

  • be careful not to overcook. overcooked greens will be mushy, tasteless, and significantly reduced in nutrition.
  • greens will cook down approx. 1/4 to 1/8 original volume.
  • boil greens 2-4 minutes, or steam 5-8 minutes, depending on maturity and toughness of greens. watch for the color to brighten; this signals cooking is complete or nearly complete. colors will darken and fade in vibrancy when overcooked.
  • baby greens are excellent for sauteeing, larger, more mature greens for stir-frying – add them toward the end of the cooking time – anywhere from 2-5 minutes is usually adequate for both.
  • most greens are interchangable, though pungency does vary.
  • greens add color, texture and flavor to soups and stews.
  • serve cooked greens simply. Toss with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Or, toss with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Or, toss with a lemon vinaigrette. Or, top with a pat of butter or totally plain!
  • mix greens into omelets, quiches, lasagna, and casseroles.
  • saute pre-cooked greens in garlic butter and onion.
  • baby greens make an excellent raw salad.

“Most garden greens love cool weather. They grow quickly and will be among the first vegetables of the season in spring and the final leafy ones in the fall.

Their vibrancy and freshness are a gift of flavor and health. Greens are packed with nutrition. Properly prepared, greens offer generous amounts of vitamins A and C, some B vitamins, and folic acid, as well as minerals such as calcium and iron. Greens are very high in dietary fiber and low in calories. In the health world, dark leafy greens also receive attention for their roles in disease prevention.”



Freezing Greens (kale, collard, chard, spinach)

Wash your greens thoroughly and cut out thick stems.  Cut the greens into large pieces.  Boil a large pot (2 gallons) of water and blanch the greens for 2 minutes, you can use a wire basket, mesh bag or metal strainer and I have also just dunked and used a large slotted spoon to scoop them out.  Put batches in that are small enough to avoid matting the leaves.  Start the timer as soon as you put the greens in the water and stir them or cover them for the 2 minutes.  Prolonged blanching causes loss of all those good vitamins and minerals and under blanching will stimulate the activity of enzymes that ruin flavor for longer term freezer storage.  Once the two minutes is up put them in a bath of water ice water to stop the cooking process.  The greens should be stirred several times while cooling and about 2 minutes of cooling time is enough.  Once the greens are cooled, drain them and pack into freezer jars leaving 1/4 inch head space or in freezer bags.  The greens are great for adding into any recipe you would add frozen spinach.



cooking greens according to Farmer John

remember, click on the photo and it’ll get legible

farmer john's cookbook


farmer john's simple cooked greens



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