A Simple Plate of Greens


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plate of greens

A Simple Plate of Greens

serves 1-2

There’s a Grant Lee Buffalo song called Dixie Drug Store with a lyric that goes something like, ‘I wouldn’t be the least surprised if you were hungry for a plate of greens..’ I love the song and often sing it to myself when I’m cooking up some ‘greens’.

It’s one of my go-to meals when I’m home alone. Sometimes I add some protein in the form of a fried egg or some cheese, but mostly it’s just the greens. This is my latest favourite version, spiked with super fresh preserved lemon. Although if you can’t get your hands on any preserved lemon, a little lemon zest will do the trick.

knob of butter, optional
1 bunch greens such as spinach, kale, cavalo nero,collard greens or silverbeet (chard)
1-2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
squeeze lemon
1/4 preserved lemon, finely sliced

1. Heat a large frying pan on a medium high heat.

2. Wash greens, leaving water on the leaves and slice finely crosswise.

3. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the butter, if using to the pan then add the greens and garlic.

4. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes or until the greens have wilted and are tender,

5. Remove from the heat and stir in the preserved lemon and squeeze over lemon juice. Taste and season.

Prepare Ahead?

Yes. Keeps in the fridge for a week or so.

Leftover Potential

Absolutely, One of those veg that will keep in fridge and reheats well. I also like to eat them cold.


vegan / dairy-free – skip the butter and up the olive oil. Or for something different try macadamia oil.

higher protein – serve with a softly poached egg or crumble over some goats cheese or ricotta.

beets & greens – stir in some roast or drained canned beets to warm up at the end.

green on greens – serve with chunks of avocado on top.

chilli greens – add in a little fresh or dried chilli with the garlic.

asian greens – use boy choy or other asian greens and instead of the preserved lemon, drizzle with a little soy sauce. Chilli and garlic wouldn’t go astray here either.

– serve as a side dish to a hearty steak OR crumble some sausages into the pan and brown before adding the greens.

Problem Solving Guide

too crunchy – different greens will take longer to cook. Just keep stirring until the greens are of a texture you like. Covering with a lid can help speed up the process.

– back off the heat and add a splash of water to slow things down. Covering with a lid will help keep the steam in and retard over browning.

bitter – a sign of either burnt garlic or bitter greens.

– leafy greens can be tricky to wash. Next time soak the greens in a big tub of water before draining.

Serving Suggestions

I love this as a simple, wholesome supper. Especially if I’ve been over-indulging.

Also great as a side dish to roast mushrooms or mushroom steaks. Good with zucchini burgers too.

I often cook up a batch of greens and eat a little with my eggs in the morning straight from the fridge with a pair of poached eggs on top – breakfast of champions.


back to Quick Vegetarian Cooking overview

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