Stir-Fried Greens

Preparation info

  • Makes:


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Monday-to-Friday Cookbook

Monday-to-Friday Cookbook

By Michele Urvater

Published 1991

  • About

Nutritionists exhort us to add turnip, beet, dandelion, and mustard greens, kale, spinach, broccoli rabe, and Swiss chard to our weekly diet because they are so healthy. I love them though, not for their salubrious effect, but their lusty flavor. Unfortunately the more exotic types of greens are not that easy to find, but I never substitute the frozen variety (except for spinach) for the fresh, because frozen greens are wilted and taste bitter.


  • 2 pounds fresh greens
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cut the stems from the greens (discard or save for another use) and coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse the leaves under cold water and place them with any water that clings to them in a large bowl. Mince the garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add the garlic and greens along with any water that clings to the leaves. If all the greens won’t fit into the skillet at once, add half and cook until there’s room for the remaining half. The greens will sizzle and sputter loudly as the water remaining on the leaves hits the oil, but the racket dies down quickly.
  3. With tongs, stir the greens around. Cover the skillet and simmer over low heat until the leaves are tender but not overcooked, 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of green. Check after 5 minutes of cooking and add a few tablespoons of water if the leaves are beginning to stick to the bottom of the skillet. When properly done, the leaves will be vivid green and just tender to the bite but not soggy. The cooking time varies depending on the type of greens you’re cooking and on how you like to eat them. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.