Cookus Interruptus - How to Cook Healthy Food Videos
how to cook fresh local organic foods
despite life's interruptions

Please signup for weekly updates
and regular giveaways!

Quick-Boiled Collard Greens

Recipe reprinted with permission from Feeding the Whole Family (third edition) by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008)

Assertive hearty greens can be bitter and tough.  They need heat and water to become tame and sweet.  Vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, iron and even protein are a part of most dark leafy greens.  These powerful vegetables should be a daily part of the diet, especially for nursing mothers.  Try them topped with Coconut Peanut Sauce
or Creamy Ginger Dressing (mentioned on KUOW) - wow.

1 large bunch of collard greens

Optional Garnishes:

Lemon wedges
Brown rice vinegar or umeboshi plum vinegar

Cut or pull away the leaves from the stem before washing.  Wash greens carefully.  An easy way is to fill your sink with cold water and submerge the greens.  If the water has sediment, drain the sink and repeat.

Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a large pot.  Submerge the whole leaves of the greens.  Tougher leaves (such as mature collards or kale) need to be cooked for 3-4 minutes.

Timing is everything.  If you remove the greens too soon they will be bitter.  If you let them cook too long they will lose nutrients and have a flat taste.  Remove a piece and test every 30 seconds or so.  You are looking for a slightly wilted leaf that still has a bright green color and (most important) a succulent, sweet flavor. 

Pour cooked greens into a colander in the sink or a bowl to catch the cooking water.  Let cool.  Squeeze out excess water with your hands.  Chop into bite-sized pieces.  Serve with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar.  Reserve cooking water to water your plants.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Makes 2 cups, 4 servings



Noel Levan
As you probably know, at least one of your videos has made its way to the Organic Consumer Association website On that site there is an option to share the video with others via email and sites such as Facebook. I wonder whether you might offer that sharing feature on your site. It would certainly spread your wonderful messages. Thanks for considering this request. Care fully, Noel Levan Harrisonburg VA
December 13, 2008, 8:25 am

Cynthia Lair
Noel, Right under the video screen on our videos are 3 buttons. One lets you email the video, one gives an embed code and the other is for an RSS feed. I did not know that one of our videos was on OCA. Can you give me a url where it is posted? Be well.
December 13, 2008, 9:25 am

Susie Beiler
I love learning new ways to cook stuff. I'm passing this on to my nutrition clients and email newsletter database. Thanks Cynthia!!!
January 26, 2009, 11:05 am

Liz Ellis
This recipe turned out wonderful. We had some trouble testing whether the greens were done or not. In the pot, they tasted wonderful, and looked right, but on the plate, they had the hint of bitterness. We still loved them. Are there any other hints to look for besides continual tasting and cooking time? Oh, the ginger sauce was very nice.
January 26, 2009, 4:29 pm

I learned something new today about cooking collards! Thank you! And please have the cop visit Cynthia's kitchen for a follow up. It could be just like the old Taster's Choice coffee commercials with the ever-unfolding romantic saga between the woman who borrowed coffee from her cute male neighbor!
December 30, 2009, 4:50 pm

Juliet Powell
Thanks you crack me up! Who knew cooking greens and comedy went together?? I so look forward to finding you in my mailbox.
December 30, 2009, 9:40 pm

Judy Loebl
Hey Cynthia! I love watching your videos. The trick for taking the stems out of the greens is really cool. Happy New Year to you and your family
December 31, 2009, 12:01 pm

Really fun video with great info. And I loved the idea of serving the greens with fried tofu and peanut sauce. Yumm!
May 20, 2010, 6:40 pm

Julia Elman
I loved this recipe from the book, but wasn't 100% sure how to cook the collard greens. This video really helped me out for the next time I cookus thisus :)
July 25, 2010, 7:05 am

Linda Marks Katz
I thought I would submit this little bit of advice to all who may not know what to do in the following situation. I consider myself a person of average intelligence, and yet wilted greens illuded me for years. It is with guilt that I divulge a secret to the readers of Cookus Interruptus . . . . that when my greens sat in the fridge for more than a day, they wilted and I would throw them away. One day around three weeks ago, I decided to submerge the wilted soft leaves into water and before I knew it, they revived! As I imagine the fields of greens that were dumped because life Interrupted, I cringe. So I thought I would pass this info along just in case there is another intelligent but clueless closet, what to do with wilted greens, person who might be reading this. Linda
June 19, 2011, 10:51 am

Man InTheKitchen
Thanks for the fun video, and the nice alternative to the long and slow (though also delicious) southernish method of braising them in chicken stock with a roasted meat turkey wing. I am surprised you threw away the collard green stems. I chop mine and then blanche/stop them as you did the leaves, and then saute them with olive oil, slivers of garlic, S&P and flax seeds. Keep up the nice recipes!
August 2, 2012, 5:03 pm

Post a comment

First Name.

Last Name

Email Address


Please type in the letters that appear: