Simple Sautéed Garlicky Greens (Kale, Collards, or Chard)

Simple Garlicky Greens

This is a basic way to prepare sautéed chard, kale, or collard greens — the classic olive oil and garlic sauté. Sometimes simple is best; this is definitely true when it comes to something as good as leafy greens!

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 1 large bunch greens of your choice
    (chard, kale, or collard greens), 12 to 16 ounces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (or use more, to your heart’s content!)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or apple cider vinegar to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Remove stems and thick mid-ribs from whatever type of greens you are using. Wash the leaves thoroughly, dousing a batch at a time in a large bowl to make sure that all sand and grit are removed.

If you’d like to use the midribs, slice them very thinly. Otherwise, discard them (you may want to discard collard stems in any case; they’re pretty tough). Stack a few leaves atop one another and cut into wide strips.

Heat the oil in an extra-large skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden.

Sautéed garlicky chard or other leafy greens

Add the greens to the pot and stir to coat with the oil. Add just enough water to keep the bottom of the pan moist. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the greens are bright green and just tender. Swiss chard takes 3 to 5 minutes; kale and collards about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the lemon juice or vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve at once straight from the pan, or transfer to a covered container.

Nutrition Information:
Per serving: 93 calories; 4g fat; 50mg sodium; 13g carbs; 4g fiber; 4g protein

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8 comments on “Simple Sautéed Garlicky Greens (Kale, Collards, or Chard)

  1. Khalid

    I am a new Vegan and trying to keep the menu interesting in our home. I love the Chinese Dish Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce and would love to learn how to prepare it myself. I am a Vegan so I am looking for a recipe without any meat, dairy, or animal by-products in it. It would also be nice if the recipe is very low fat and low glycemic as well since I am trying to lose 50 lbs this year. Looking forward to your answers!

  2. Jenni

    Me again Nava.. I am also on a FODMAP diet which means no onion or garlic.. I have discovered that garlic in particular is a trigger for gut problems… Can you recommend a substitute? So many vegan recipes use garlic and or onion…

  3. Nava Post author

    Jenni, I wonder if that means no alliums at all? I was going to say shallots or scallion, but that may not help you. In this case, if you must avoid all the alliums, steam your greens in a little water or broth, mix in lemon juice and tahini, and some red pepper flakes and sesame seeds. Also very yummy that way …

  4. Deborah

    I have a huge abundance of swiss chard and kale in my garden this year! I use this simple recipe ALL THE TIME and I never get tired of it. You can switch it up with other seasonings, too, like ginger or soy sauce, or add kalamata olives or sun-dried tomatoes. It’s so versatile; thank you, Nava!

  5. Nava Post author

    Deborah, we’re starting to experience the kale and chard explosion in the garden, too. You’re right that this simple and classic preparation can be easily changed up according to mood. I devote a few pages to just that in my Wild About Greens book!

  6. Judy

    What a super recipe! Especially for someone who’s joined a csa and received a bunch of kale, chard, & collards this week. Had NO idea how to prepare them, but thanks to you they were a hit

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