That means a great many vegetables can be known as ‘greens.’ When we utter the word, it is usually preceded by something like ‘collards,’ but that may not always be the case. Maybe it is mustard greens that are simmering away in the pan. Or maybe it is something else entirely. What it boils down to—pardon the pun—is that Southerners love the wonders of simple greens flavored with great add-ins, from bacon and pork to ham and chicken.
When you gather everything together, you end up with what Southerners call ‘greens’: that means turnip greens, kale, and mustard greens in a dish like our favorite Sautéed Early Winter Greens. Maybe they’re the foundation for a great stew, or simply something to quickly steam, simmer or flavor and add in to a great risotto. So, get going with greens and get ready to expand your vegetable shorthand. This may be a simple shorthand for a wide range of flavors, but once you taste these leafy wonders you’ll want to spell everything out.