Easy Kale or Collards Recipe

This “recipe” is so simple, it doesn’t even seem like a recipe to me.  This is what we do whenever we are having kale, collards, or other dark leafy greens – either picked from our garden or fresh from the organic co-op.


  • kale or collards
  • butter, olive oil, or coconut oil
  • a little water
  • salt
  • optional – any or all of the following: other spices, chopped onion, minced garlic, diced tomatoes, chopped hot peppers – you get the idea

Wash the greens well in cold water.  Drain a little, then chop or cut to your liking.  We usually chop up the stems if they are not too large.  (These are pictures of lacinato or “dinosaur” kale.)  Keep in mind that the greens will shrink by more than half as they cook, so make sure you start with a good amount.

Put greens into a pan with butter or oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Add a little water, and other ingredients, if desired.

Sauté and/or steam the greens to your preference.  Sometimes I lightly sauté the kale on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Other times I cover (with a large bowl until the greens shrink) and steam.  We prefer our greens with a little crunch to them.  My husband likes to add a splash of apple cider vinegar to his greens.

A gardening note: you can also cook the usually discarded leaves of turnips, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, and cabbage with this recipe.  I usually chop them more finely and cook them a little longer, and they taste great!

This recipe also works with the “softer” greens like spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens – even radish leaves.  Cook these just until they start to wilt, then take them off the heat so they don’t get mushy and lose their flavor.

The best part of this simple recipe is that my children LOVE IT!  They will happily pick a huge basketful of kale or collards from the garden, wash and trim the leaves, and even chop and cook it.  They will take several helpings – yes, I know I’m very blessed to have children that love to eat their greens!

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2 comments to Easy Kale or Collards Recipe

  • Laurie Flynn

    We grow and eat lots of greens, too. For those who don’t care so much for a big helping of just greens on the plate, a good use for them is in soups. We chop, blanch, and freeze collards by the bushel, and then take out a quart bag to add to our (home-grown) chicken soup when I boil down the bones. Being in the soup makes the greens a little softer and sort of “diluted” by the broth and other ingredients.

    You could also add them to other mixed dishes like casseroles and omelets.

  • My mom would love this! I will have to make for her!

    Stop by and link up at What’s Cooking Wednesday!

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