Think greens need to be boiled into a mush before serving? Think again. Along with a pan of hot cornbread, make these tender greens a regular part of your Southern vegetable plate or serve alongside pulled pork or fried chicken. Sautéed with onions, salt, pepper, and other flavorings, this quick and easy side dish comes together in just minutes, meaning there is no reason you can't serve a healthy, fresh, and delicious side dish with supper even on a busy weeknight. Any type of tender green, such as baby kale, turnip greens, collards, and even spinach, works well in this recipe. Always use fresh greens, never frozen. Whenever possible, choose loose leaves instead of bagged greens, as the bags tend to have more stems than the leafy whole plants, and the stems are not so tender. This recipe is quick and easy and, while the slow-simmer method in a Dutch oven is sometimes preferred, you don't always have that much time to prepare a meal. Don't forget to add the rice vinegar to the pan. If you. Have never made greens before, this might seem like a strange addition, but the vinegar adds a tangy note that brightens the dish and, along with the tablespoon of sugar, balances out the flavors. Play around with the flavor profile. If you like things on the spicy side, bump up the heat with more peppers or add a teaspoon (or more) of red pepper flakes. Fry up some chopped bacon, use a tablespoon of bacon grease instead of the sesame oil, and then add the chopped bacon into the finished dish. Remember a plate of greens isn't complete without a bottle of hot pepper vinegar or hot sauce on the table.  

Southern Living


Credit: Southern Living

Recipe Summary test

26 mins
26 mins
4 to 6 servings


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Sauté onion and next 3 ingredients in hot oil in a large skillet or wok 1 minute. Stir in salt and black pepper. Add greens; sauté 2 minutes. Add sugar and vinegar; cover and cook 3 minutes or until wilted. Remove and discard serrano pepper before serving.


Chef's Note

* 1/2 jalapeño pepper, split, may be substituted.