Cynthia’s Quick-Boiled Greens

Cynthia’s Quick-Boiled Greens

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  • 8 cups leafy greens
  • Dash of lemon juice or umeboshi vinegar


For greens with tough stems, such as kale, collards, or chard, remove leaves from the stem before washing. Wash greens carefully. An easy way to do this is to fill a sink with cold water and submerge the greens. If the water has sediment, drain the sink and repeat.

Heat 2 quarts water to boiling. Submerge greens. Boil tender young greens (such as watercress or dandelion greens) for about 30 seconds. Tougher leaves (such as mature collards or kale) need to be cooked for 5 to 10 minutes.

Timing is everything — if you remove the greens too soon they will be bitter; if you let them cook too long they will lose nutrients and have a flat taste. Remove a piece and test every minute or so. You are looking for a slightly wilted leaf that still has bright green color and (most important) a succulent, sweet flavor.

Pour cooked greens into a colander in the sink. Let cool. Squeeze out excess water with your hands. Chop into bite-size pieces. Serve with a few drops of lemon juice or umeboshi vinegar.

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