1 bunch (or more) fresh kale or chard and/or any other greens

3 or 4 cloves garlic 

sea salt

1 sweet onion

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/4 cup olive oil


Wash the greens well, and drain, shake and pat dry. Remove the stems from greens. (Kale can be stripped off, holding one end of the stem. For spinach, hold the folded leaf in one hand & pull the stem off with the other. Most others, lay the leaf flat, and cut the leaf in half along one side of the stem, then cut the stem from the other half.) Discard hard round stems of kale, collards & spinach. Reserve tender stems of chard, beet greens, mustard & turnips. Chop reserved stems into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. Tear or chop the greens into roughly 2 inch pieces. Cut the onion into slices or chop into large pieces. Chop or slice the garlic, not too small.


Heat olive oil in a large skillet. (For kale choose one with a lid.) Add the onion & sauté briefly on medium/high heat. Add the garlic and any reserved, tender stems, stir, & cook a little longer. You will add the greens in sequence, with the most tender last. If using kale, start by adding it in large handfuls. Toss to coat & wilt. Continue adding kale until it’s all in the pan & all wilted. Put the lid on the pan & turn OFF the burner. (If it’s electric, move it off.) Allow to rest for 10 minutes or more. When it’s almost time to eat, remove the cover & turn the heat back up to med/high. Add salt & crushed red pepper to taste & toss a bit. (The red pepper “brightens” the flavor without heat if you just add a little.) Toss & begin adding other greens, if using. Collards would be next, then beet greens, turnip tops, and mustard. Spinach is last. (Skip the lid part if not using kale.) Add each green, then toss & cook to wilt. Then add the next green. When all greens are wilted & tender - serve them hot.


This is a great vegetable side dish just as is. It is so good and good for you too. It is also endlessly variable:

• At the end of cooking the greens, add tomatoes (canned or fresh chopped). If you plan to make this with pasta, you can include the juice from the canned tomatoes. Otherwise it will probably make it too wet.

• Spoon over rice, or any other grain, or polenta, or tossed with pasta, to make a complete meal.

• Mix the cooked greens with egg & ricotta & bake it (sprinkle parmesan cheese on top), either directly in a baking dish, or in a pie shell or in a shell of polenta.

  1. After the greens part of the dish is complete, with or without tomatoes, you can add beans. If you use canned beans be sure to rinse them well to get rid of the canned flavor. Use kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, or any others you like. Then cook a little longer to be sure it’s hot through.

from Carol Havens