Jessica B. Harris' Mixed Greens

These leafy vegetables are as much a staple around the world as they are in the South.

Jessica’s Mixed Greens
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 55 mins

"Virtually all over the globe, greens are eaten in some form," writes culinary historian Jessica B. Harris. "I guess it's their ease of cooking, the multiple ways in which they can be prepared, and that they can even be foraged during times of necessity." These leafy vegetables are as much a staple around the world as they are in the South. Harris's Mixed Greens, though, take a very Southern approach: Stewing with collards' favorite companion (bacon, of course). Topped with a dash of Spicy Vinegar, this simple dish is something to marvel at.

When it comes to which greens to use, there's a world to choose from, and everyone has a favorite. "While they fall under the generic heading of greens, there are different types of these vegetables, each with its own partisans," writes Harris. "I prefer collards—perhaps the most robust of them all—for their dense flavor and the fact that they are deemed better and sweeter after the first frost hits them. Then there are fans of mustard greens, which are a bit tangier and have an almost mustard-like zing to them. Some opt for a mix, and might even add turnip tops (aka turnip greens) to the pot. Finally, there is kale. After one too many salads made from these leaves, the refreshing taste of the cooked version is most welcome."


  • 4 pounds mixed fresh collard, mustard, and/or turnip greens 

  • 8 bacon slices, chopped

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 

  • Toppings: hot sauce; chopped onions; additional chopped, cooked bacon; and Spicy Vinegar


  1. Wash mixed fresh greens well, picking them over to remove any brown spots or blemishes. Drain well. Discard any discolored outer leaves, and remove and discard thick ribs. Tear greens into 3- to 4-inch pieces.

  2. Place chopped bacon in a large Dutch oven. Cook over medium, stirring often, until translucent and bottom of Dutch oven is coated with rendered bacon fat, about 8 minutes. Add greens and 6 cups water, and bring to a boil over medium. Reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, about 2 hours. Stir in salt and pepper. Add desired toppings.

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