Braised or Sautéed Kale

Serves: 4

Yield: 2 to 3 cooked cups, for about 4 servings

Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes preparation and cooking

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These ingredients are:
vegetarian iconVegetarian vegan iconVegan corn-free iconCorn-free dairy-free iconDairy-free egg-free iconEgg-free tree nut-free iconTree nut-free


  • 1 tablespoon oil (sesame, peanut or olive are flavorful choices) Add to list
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or sliced Add to list
  • 1 bunch of greens, thoroughly washed Add to list
  • Soy sauce to taste Add to list


  • White wine such as dry sherry or mirin rice wine Add to list
  • Vinegar: Try ume plum, rice, or cider vinegar, lightly splashed Add to list
  • Garnish: toasted sesame seeds Add to list


Strip any stringy parts from base of stalks; remove stalks from leaves, including trimming out the large part of the stalk from up into the leaves. Dice the stalks in 1/3 inch pieces and set aside. Chop leaves into about 2- to 3-inch pieces.

There are two approaches: the first is to briefly blanch the stems and leaves for a couple of minutes by steaming or immersing in boiling water, draining and reserving those which just wilted. The other approach is to skip this part and directly pan-braise and cook the greens. The first method works best if greens are especially tough or older appearing, as a means of assuring they will become tender, yet remain brightly colored.

Heat a wok or heavy skillet on medium high and lightly sautè garlic in oil, not permitting it to brown or burn. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon (or push it high on the side of the wok), turn heat to high flame or high heat, add greens (presteamed or raw) and begin tossing (adding a teaspoon additional oil if desired). After about 5 minutes add back the garlic, splash pan lightly with wine (optional), cover pan, remove from heat and let stand briefly. Season with splashes of soy sauce, and/or vinegar. Garnish with toasted seeds or nuts.


Steamed greens variation

Prepare greens as above, placing diced stems in steamer first, leaves on top, and steam until bright green and tender; checking regularly, so as not to overcook! Season with vinegar and/or soy sauce.

Vinegars on greens

A perfect partnership! Try balsamic, seasoned or plain rice vinegar, malt vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or the bright crimson-hued Japanese brine-vinegar simply called plum or sometimes ume plum. The brine vinegar is a naturally occuring by-product of the fermentation of salt plums (called umeboshi). The rich red color results from a seasoning leaf called "shiso." Curiously, the salty-sour flavor is an excellent counter-point which tends to sweeten hearty dark greens!

Recipe by Goldie Caughlan, former PCC Nutrition Education Manager

Learn more about our recipes. View guidelines »

More about: braising, collard greens, greens, kale


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