Simmered Greens – Collard, Mustard, and Arugula

I have a number of recipes for collard greens – some vegetarian, some more traditional, some specifying longer cook times, and one I found and use often that cooks up collards  “quick and easy.”   Before I get into the details of how I prepared them to serve with the Pan Seared Shrimp, here is the quick and easy (and tasty!) one from Cooking Light, November 1994.

Quick Collard Greens

  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 11 cups tightly packed chopped fresh collard greens (about 4 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Heat 1/2 cup chicken broth in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add garlic, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Add collard greens and remaining 1/2 cup broth; stir well. Cover and cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in crushed red pepper and salt.


You can always add a bit of smoked parprika or some scraps of ham to add a little of that tradional “ham hock” flavor.

But – now for the latest greens recipe.  By the way, it is even better the next day.  I am having some for breakfast as I write this part of the post. YUM!

Now,  for years I didn’t really have a clue as to what to do with collard greens beyond toss them in soup.  How this happened, given that I followed different vegetarian diets for years, including vegan and macrobiotic, I do not know!  But, given that I have a ton of them and other greens in the garden I help with, I am glad I know what to do with them, now!

I know that prepping them was always a mystery for me, as was know how much resulted in how much once cooked.  For those who are not familiar with collards, I took some pictures and will include written steps to help you along. But first, here are the ingredients I used most recently.  Please note that you do not need to follow the amounts exactly when you make your greens.  This is a ART not a SCIENCE.  It is also a way to use up greens and ham scraps.  <grin>  I am just recording what I did so I can use it in the future as a guideline, as should you!

For example, I was planning to just do collard greens, but they cooked down so much, I cut the greens off the baby turnips I had bought and grabbed some argula I had picked a few days ago and added them, plus an additional cup of stock (I started with 2 cups) and then let it all simmer. Again, an art, not a science!

Assorted Greens  Simmer

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 medium oinions, chopped medium
  • 2 clove garlic, chopped
  • heaping 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups veggie or other stock
  • 5-6 oz ham scraps
  • 11 oz chopped collards (maybe two bunches from the market?)
  • 9 oz wild chopped arugula (the skinny leaves with pronouced indentations – from my garden)
  • 9 oz turnip chopped greens (from the baby white turnips at the Farmer’s Market)

Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan or dutch oven. When hot, add onions, garlic, and pepper flakes and saute until soft, 5-10 minutes. Add ham scraps and suate for a few more minutes, then add stock and greens (or, you can add greens and wilt before adding stock). Bring stock to a light boil, cover pot tighty, and simmer for around an hour. Once there greens are quite tender, you can hold on low for hours.

I took some pictures while I made this dish, partly to show an easy way to prepare collards, and partly because I have fun taking pictures.  🙂

The first time I prepared collards greens in a way that came out really tasting really good was for my New Year’s Day open house on 1/1/09.   You’ll find the recipe for vegatarian collard greens elsewhere on this blog, but there was one issue.  It took a LONG time to prepare the collard greens!  But now I know a better way…

Slice the thickest part of the stem off. the photo shows only one leaf,but you can do this with more than one leaf at a time.  Then stack the leaves, roll them up, and slice into 1 1/2 inch wide strips.

collard stem
slice the stems
chopping collards
chop the leaves
collards done
a bunch of leaves all chopped
bowl of collard
all done - one-cup measure to right for scale
onion and ham
Saute the onion, garlic and peper flakes and add the ham.
Then, add the chopped collard greens
Then, add the chopped collard greens

Once the collards cooked down, I realized that I needed more greens and added the turnip and arugla.

just collards cooked down
just collards cooked down
with other greens added
with other greens added

Remember, you don’t have to do greens and stock in two parts!  This is just what I did when creating this dish.

Note: when preparing the other greens, do chop off the thicker stems – most get soft from the long simmer, but if too thick, they can be tough.

Another Note: if you don’t have ham or don’w want to use it, add maybe a teaspoon or so to taste of smoked parika if you want a deeper flavor.  Also, you can add fresh or canned tomatoes to this dish at the end if you like.