Flash-Cooked Kale or Collards with Lemon Juice

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At this point we’re kind of used to giving kale the quick-cooking treatment, but more often than not collards are treated (or subjected, depending on your point of view) to a long simmer until they’re super soft. Flash-cooking them is a wonderful change of pace (my daughter, Kate, says, “you wouldn’t believe how good this is”). Regardless of what green you choose, make sure the stems are 1/8-inch thick or less; strip away and discard thicker stems.

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 – 1 1/2 pounds kale or collards, rinsed well and patted dry

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar


1. Separate the leaves from the stems. Chop the stems into 1-inch sections; stack the leaves, roll them up like a cigar, and cut into thin strips.

2. Put the oil in a well-seasoned cast-iron or nonstick large skillet over high heat. When it’s very hot but not yet smoking, toss in the stems. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until they begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the leaves and continue to cook, stirring, until they wilt and begin to brown. Turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper, and add about 1/3 cup lemon juice or vinegar. Taste, adjust the flavors, and serve immediately or at room temperature.

Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian