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amber 09-23-2006 03:08 PM

Vegetable greens
I've never cooked greens before, but noticed there are several in the store that I would like to try (swiss chard, beet greens), but there is also dandelion greens though I think those are sour right?

How do you cook the greens? What if anything do you add to them?

jennyema 09-23-2006 03:13 PM

I usually sautee chard in evoo with onion and garlic. Sometimes I add a splash of balsamic vinegar and a dusting of shaved parm or asiago. I have also sauteed chard with porcini mushrooms and regular mushrooms. You can really do a lot of things with it -- flavorwise.

You can also add it to soups and stews. Ribolllita usually calls for spinach and savoy cabbage but you can make it with kale, chard, arugula and lots of other greens. I always put kale in my pot roast and have also used chard and it's good -- a good way to "slip" chard past kids and other people who think they don't like greens.

For beet greens, I have never bought them without the beet (root) attached. When I make beets, I sautee the greens separately and combine with the cooked beets just before serving. It's a fun Xmas dish since it's bright green and red.

kadesma 09-23-2006 03:23 PM


Originally Posted by amber
I've never cooked greens before, but noticed there are several in the store that I would like to try (swiss chard, beet greens), but there is also dandelion greens though I think those are sour right?

How do you cook the greens? What if anything do you add to them?

Amber dandelion greens are considered a bitter green. I love them the way my granddad use to make them. wash well, the make almost a chopped type salad out of them, add sliced red onion, diced hard cooked eggs toss with salt,pepper, evoo and a good red wine vinegar..For me this and a buttered piece of fresh french bread would be a wonderful lunch:smile: I imagine you could cook the dandelion greens, but this salad is different and so good. Chard is wonderful blanched, then press out the water as you would spinach, chop well and will with oh say sauteed onions,garlic and other veggies such as left over asparagus, diced,artichokes, grated fresh parm cheese, then add some eggs salt and pepper and make a torta and bake in the oven til eggs are set and top is golden, it's wonderful hot or cold.

Constance 09-23-2006 03:49 PM

We hillbillies cook greens with bacon and/or bacon grease or a ham hock, chopped onions and garlic. Some saute the onions & garlic in the bacon grease before adding the greens and water, and some just toss them in to boil with the greens.
Serve with cornbread to soak up the pot liquor.

amber 09-23-2006 04:05 PM

Wow, all of these recipes sound so good. I particularly like the salad ideas and the ribollita soup ideas, and the torta.

I've never cooked a fresh beet, so do you just boil them til tender I guess?

Constance, I love bacon and this would add alot of flavor to the greens.

karadekoolaid 09-23-2006 06:43 PM

Sautée some thinly sliced onion, and add a little hot red chili pepper. Add the chopped greens and sauté for a minute or two. Add some freshly grated coconut, a tsp of curry powder, and cook until the greens wilt.

carolelaine 09-25-2006 03:17 PM

Wash your greens really carefully, because they usually have alot of grit. Remove the tough stems. I like mine simmered in chicken broth with onions. Since I am from the South, I like them spiked with tabasco vinegar. The ones in the garden are almost big enough to cut. I can't wait.

GB 09-25-2006 03:20 PM

I like to chop up some garlic and add that and the greens to a pan. Add a little chicken stock and put a cover on. Let them steam till they are done to your liking.

daisy 09-25-2006 05:38 PM

These 'greens' are called potherbs. They can be used in just the same ways as spinach, alone or in combination. Use them raw in salads, or toss them into a stirfry, or add them to quiche, or serve alone as a vegetable on the side. You can do pretty much what you like to them - sprinkle with olive oil, or sprinkle with blanched almonds or sesame seeds or whatever.

The dandelion should not be too bitter. If it is, it probably hasn't been blanched, but you can cook it like spinach in several changes of water to remove excess oxalic acid which makes it bitter.

Use any of the following, making sure you have correctly identified an edible herb:

dandelion, cat's ear, dock, nettles, sheep sorrel, fat hen, chickweed, sow thistle, purslane, amaranth, mustard. Combine with spinach, lettuce, comfrey leaves, green beetroot tops, carrot tops or turnip tops and smaller amounts of culinary herbs.

Toss any combination in a salad bowl, add onions or chives and French dressing.

Wash greens, cover with water, add a meaty ham bone and a little garlic. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, then add 2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced. Simmer another 30 minutes. Serve hot as soup.

Dandelion and Potatoes

4-6 potatoes2-3 cloves garlic, chopped4 cups dandelion greens1/2 teaspoon chopped red chilli1/4 cup olive oil
Boil potatoes in for about half an hour; depending on size, add dandelions and continue cooking till both are tender. Remove from water. Peel and mash potatoes, cut dandelion leaves if large, and mix together. In a large frypan, sautee garlic and chilli in olive oil about 1 minute. Add potatoes and dandelions and continue to cook another minute. Add potatoes and dandelions and continue to cook another 15 minutes. Serve with fresh crusty Italian bread and dry red wine. You may also used leftover mashed potatoes.

Mediterranean Beetroot Leaves
250g young beetroot leaves and stalks
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup coarse stale breadcrumbs
4 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of 1 lemon

Wash leaves carefully, then cut off the stalks. Cook the stalks in boiling, salted water for 3-4 minutes, then add leaves and boil, uncovered for a further 3 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a frypan, add crumbs and cook on moderately high heat until golden. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add beetroot leaves and stalks and mix in well. Reduce heat, sprinkle lemon juice over, cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Serve hot as a vegetable. Turnip leaves may be substituted for the beetroot leaves.

kimbaby 09-26-2006 07:33 AM

I Cook...mustard-collards-or Turnips...
Be Sure To Wash Greens Very Well,even The Ones In The Grocery Store Contain Sand,remove Leaves From Stems...
I Put About 1-2 Cups Water In The Bottom Of Pot, Also 1 Tbls. Crisco And Bacon/ham Bone For Seasoning...
The Greens Will Make Their Own Water,so Don't Be Tempted To Add Water... Cook Untill Greens Cook Down, Anout 1 Hour...
I Usually Cook 2 Bunches At A Time, They Cook Down Alot With Cooking... :)

urmaniac13 09-26-2006 07:41 AM

I only have had dandelions raw in the salads, like kadesma. Maybe "bitter" is not a perfect word to describe it, but it does have a flavour that is "pleasantly sharp", in a way (but not exactly the same) rocket and radicchio do. I have heard of them being cooked but I have never tried it personally, I think I prefer them as a salad ingredient...

XeniA 09-26-2006 09:52 AM

Can't add much to the wonderful ideas you've already got, above. We do our greens boiled until tender, then dressed just with olive oil, lemon, and salt (or vinegar and garlic in the case of beet greens).

However, once you do find one or more kinds of greens you like, you could always do a version of spanakopita -- greens, feta, and a crust. Bitter greens mixed with sweet leeks is a really nice combination!

auntieshelly 09-26-2006 08:10 PM

Amber ~ You mentioned that you have never cooked a fresh beet and asked if you should just boil it until tender. Yes, you may do that, but I like to bake beets. Wash the beets well and trim off the stem. Wrap the beets in foil adding a tablespoon or two of water. Let cook in a 350º oven until tender -- you will have to open the packet every once in a while and test the beets. The cooking time depends on the size of the beets. When cooked, allow to cool somewhat and then (using rubber gloves unless you want pink fingers) slip the skins off the beets. I marinate the beets in olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs of your choice. I think baked beets are tastier and sweeter than boiled. Give it a try!!

ChefJune 09-26-2006 08:52 PM


I've never cooked a fresh beet, so do you just boil them til tender I guess?
I just trim them and wrap them in heavy duty aluminum foil and roast them in a 400 degree F oven for 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending upon the size of the beets. Peel the skins off after they're done. Yummy!

shpj4 09-27-2006 02:45 PM

I have never cooked Vegetable greens but I know that one our fantastic cooks and chefs will be able to help you out.

BreezyCooking 09-29-2006 03:04 PM

Here's one of my favorite ways to prepare Swiss Chard:

Sauteed Swiss Chard
1 bunch of Swiss Chard
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs (optional)

Fill a pot large enough to hold the chard with water & bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, separate the chard leaves from the stems. Trim & discard the stem ends & cut the stems into 1"-2" pieces depending on stem thickness. Roughly chop/slice up the leaves, keeping them separate from the stem pieces. When the water reaches a boil, add the stems & cook for around 5 minutes. Then add the leaves to the pot as well & continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Heat some extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet. Smash the peeled garlic cloves with the side of a large knife, sprinkle them with salt & mince (the salt will keep the garlic from flying around your cutting board as you mince it). Add the drained chard, minced garlic, & crushed red pepper flakes to taste & stir until heated thru.
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan &/or Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs if desired, stir again, & serve.

BreezyCooking 09-29-2006 03:05 PM

My favorite recipe for Kale:


1 pound penne pasta (Barilla is my favorite brand), cooked according to package directions & drained
1 block/container of Feta cheese, chopped/crumbled
Approx. 24 Kalamata olives, pitted, & roughly chopped **
Approx. 1 pound Kale, rinsed, stems removed & discarded, & leaves roughly sliced/chopped
1 red onion, peeled & chopped
A few dollops of extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing
Dash or so of chicken broth or water
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

While the cooked pasta is draining in a colander, heat the olive oil & saute the onion until soft but not brown in the pot the pasta was cooked in. Add the kale, stir a bit, & add a dash or 2 of chicken broth or water to prevent burning. Add chopped olives & stir until kale has wilted down. Add cooked pasta, feta cheese, & crushed red pepper & stir again until pasta is heated through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

** Pitting the olives is accomplished easily by simply placing your broad kitchen knife (sharp side away from you) over each olive & briskly hitting down on the knife with your hand. Olive will break open & pit will be easy to remove.

(Can substitute 1# Broccoli Rabe for Kale, in which case add 4 large cloves sliced, sautéed garlic, omit chicken broth, & sub grated Parmesan for Feta.)

BreezyCooking 09-29-2006 03:06 PM

Another great one for Kale:


One medium onion, peeled & chopped
One pound of kale, de-ribbed & roughly sliced/chopped
1-1/2 quarts or so of chicken stock (if not homemade, I usually use one carton + one can of Swanson's)
Two medium potatoes, peeled & diced -OR- two cans of cannelini/white kidney beans, rinsed **
One package (usually 12 to 16 ounces) turkey kielbasa sausage, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large soup pot add enough olive oil to coat the bottom & saute onion until starting to soften, but not brown. Add sliced sausage & continue sauteeing until everything is just starting to brown a little. Add chicken stock & diced potatoes (if using) & simmer until potatoes are tender - about 15 minutes or so. Add kale & continue cooking until kale is tender. (** if using beans instead of potatoes, add chicken stock & bring to a simmer. Add kale & cook until tender; then add beans & stir gently until beans are just heated thru.) Add salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste & serve.

ChefJune 09-29-2006 03:40 PM


Originally Posted by cliveb
Sautée some thinly sliced onion, and add a little hot red chili pepper. Add the chopped greens and sauté for a minute or two. Add some freshly grated coconut, a tsp of curry powder, and cook until the greens wilt.

Oh Clive! Will you please come visit New York and bring me some fresh coconuts??? :rofl: That sounds so good!

I like to saute some onions and garlic until very soft, and then toss in some dandies and wilt them. I finish it off with a squirt or two of Minus 8 and some fresh ground pepper. It makes a great side, or you can top it with a poached egg and call it supper! :smile:

The chefs and cooks in Lyon, France use dandies to make a fabulous classic salad with eggs and bacon and croutons called Pissenlits. I have a recipe for that in my book.... :smile:

ironchef 09-30-2006 09:51 AM

Amber, you can sub with dandelion greens in this recipe or use the swiss chard, or any other type of chard that you see:


amber 09-30-2006 12:49 PM

Thanks for all the fantastic recipes!

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