The RIGHT WAY To Cook Greens! Recipe -
The RIGHT WAY To Cook Greens! Recipe
  • READY IN 20 mins

The RIGHT WAY To Cook Greens!

Recipe by  

"There's a short way and a long way, so no excuses will be accepted for tough, bitter greens!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    5 mins

    20 mins


  1. Heat bacon drippings in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the greens. Stir-fry, I suppose, since you are stirring and frying, for 1 to 4 minutes (depends on how tough the greens are) or until greens are limp, tender, and have greatly reduced in size. Pork fat is good because it helps cover the bitterness of greens while bringing out their great flavor.
  2. At this point, you have a choice. Either serve them straight from the pan with a sprinkling of salt, or add 3 to 4 cups of water and salt to taste, and boil the greens 1 hour for extra tender, probably-won't-even-have-to-chew greens. If you don't have teeth, clearly you see which way to go here.
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  • Editor's Note
  • Original recipe calls for "a mess" of greens.
  • Cook's Notes
  • A mess of greens is about as many greens as you can cram into a plastic shopping bag.
  • To get drippings, fry 4 to 8 strips of bacon in an iron skillet or frying pan until you have gotten most of the grease out and it thickly coats the bottom of the pan.
  • KEEP IN MIND: If you boil them without frying first, you will have to boil for at least two hours with some type of pork to reduce the bitterness of greens in general. My father boils his all day with a ham hock, and they turn out pretty good, but there is no need for that type of time commitment unless, of course, you have an unbreakable family tradition or sadly have no teeth (no judgement here, toothless ones)!

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Aug 31, 2011

Got a few tips. Don't mix different greens; they have a variety of cooking times. Washing greens is VERY important. I soak for 1 hour in a large stockpot. I pull them from the water, (pour on your plants) and individually rinse each leaf in running water, placing each wet leaf on a large cutting board, facing the same way for easier cutting. In batches, I chop off the tip of the stem (hello, compost pile). Then I chop the stems all up in 1/4" slices and put in the cold skillet, reserving the leaf. I use my largest cast-iron skillet that has a tight fitting lid. Bacon fat is great, or olive oil, but my fave is my own homemade chicken broth. I add 1/2 cup in the bottom of the skillet to stems with 4-5 minced garlic cloves, cover and cook on medium heat while I am chopping up the leaves. (This lets the tougher stems and garlic tenderize a bit and flavor the broth.) I chop up all the wet leaves into bite-sized pieces, toss them in the skillet (be careful, it is hot!) and cover, cook on low heat and set the timer for 10 minutes (because you may need more broth). Depending on your burner, you may need to add more broth to this concoction to keep it moist every 10 minutes. I have eaten them after 10 minutes; I have also waited until the rest of dinner was ready, after an hour (better)! Just keep 'em wet. Serving time... drizzle on Bragg's Amino Acid to kick up a salty flavor, without adding sodium! For high blood pressure, it's the best salt substitute EVER! Thanks rjkuns!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jun 23, 2014

I consider myself to be an expert at cooking collard greens. I had heard about stir-frying or sautéing greens, so when I came across this recipe, it seemed like it might be worth a try. Well, I could not be more wrong. I did not use a mix of greens, just collard greens. I had more than a "mess" of green, probably about 3 bunches and it took way too long to sauté them. I thought this would be a quick way to get delicious greens, but it was more work preparing greens this way than my normal way. After what seemed to be at least 45 min., maybe more, I sampled the greens. They were still tough and the stems did not cook down enough for me. The taste was also very bland. I added some broth, water and additional season and boiled for at least another 45 min. Still did not like the greens. They were still tough, bland and the stems were not to my liking. I added more water and cooked for at least another hour. The same results. It does not seem as if the greens were any more tender than before I added the additional liquids. After the rave reviews, I am definitely disappointed and won't be making this dish again.

Aug 16, 2011

Delicious! I used Broccoli Rabe tossed into the pan with the bacon drippings, a pinch of salt and hot pepper flakes to taste. Simple and very tastey. The bacon drippings add a level of flavor and depth not achieved by using oil. Very very good.

Jul 08, 2011

Great flavor and easy.

Mar 27, 2012

I used this recipe before and I am about to use it again. How simple! I added crumbled bacon and diced onion- wonderful!

Jun 14, 2014

I started with two bunches of collard greens, rinsed them and removed the stems, and tore the greens into bite-sized pieces. Next, I rendered a skillet full of sliced salt pork, pulled the semi-cooked pork out and used the renderings to wilt the greens. I placed the rendered pork into a pot with 4 cups of water and brought it to a boil. After the greens cooked down, I added them to the boiling water, covered and simmered on low heat for an hour. I added no more salt and they were perfect! If my southern-raised mother were still alive, she would be impressed! This is easy and fantastic!

Mar 01, 2012

Thank you! My first greens making experience went well bc of this recipe.

Nov 25, 2013

Thanks, RJ. I never thought to wilt them before and you are entirely correct that the bacon fat really complements the greens.My mustard greens were super-tender and not bitter at all. I used canola and about 5 strips of smoked bacon (not maple). I left about 2.5 strips in the pan for flavoring the liquor. I went ahead with the broth approach and differed substantially enough to make a new recipe (Come check it out!) The green's liquor takes about 2 1/2 hours to really get good. On the other hand, more ready supplied liquor of the other type will allow you to bide your time waiting!


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  • Calories
  • 217 kcal
  • 11%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 15.9 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol
  • 14 mg
  • 5%
  • Fat
  • 16 g
  • 25%
  • Fiber
  • 10.1 g
  • 40%
  • Protein
  • 6.9 g
  • 14%
  • Sodium
  • 181 mg
  • 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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