Sautéed Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Sweet, savory, spicy and just a tad bitter, this dish is the perfect balance of flavors. Use whatever greens you would like (e.g., Swiss chard, kale, turnip greens, spinach, etc.)—just keep in mind that spinach and turnip greens lose a lot of volume when cooked so use a large amount. 

Experiment with different dried fruits (e.g., cranberries, currants, cherries) and nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, pecans—these can be toasted in a pan, in the oven, or tossed in raw).

Learn about the nutritional power of dark leafy greens here.

Serves: 2  

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 large bunch of greens (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
  • Few pinches crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Roughly 1/4-1/2 cup of water
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste


Instructions:

  1.  Soak the raisins in hot water for 10 minutes then drain
     
  2. Rinse greens well; tear or cut leaves away from stems and discard stems; coarsely chop*
     
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat
     
  4. Add the pine nuts; toast, stirring frequently, until they’re fragrant and begin to brown (pay attention as they burn easily); remove from pan
     
  5. Add the olive oil to the pan and swirl it around
     
  6. Add the garlic and optional red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds (be careful not to burn the garlic)
     
  7. Add the greens a few bunches at a time, tossing with tongs to evenly coat with oil
     
  8. Toss in pine nuts, raisins and salt
     
  9. Add a splash of water if needed; toss to combine and let the liquid boil away; remove from heat once the liquid boils off and the greens are wilted (about 2-4 minutes)
     
  10. Add salt and black pepper to taste 

*For kale, remove the tough, thick center stems.  For Swiss chard, chop the bottom stems and sauté for a few minutes before adding the leaves.

Zingy Creamy Tahini Sauce with Greens

This zingy creamy tahini sauce takes nutrient-rich greens to an entirely new level. Serve atop a hearty whole grain or seed like brown rice, bulgur or quinoa.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon tahini, stirred well before measuring
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, wheat-free tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon, plus more to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 large bunch of greens (chard, spinach, kale, collard, etc.), stemmed, washed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of crush red pepper (optional)
     

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine tahini, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and lemon. Whisk with a fork until lump-free. Stir in water gradually to thin the sauce; you want it thinner, but not watery. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed.
     
  2. Coarsely chop or tear greens into smaller pieces, about 4 inches long.
     
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
     
  4. Add garlic and optional crushed red pepper. Stir to keep garlic from burning, about 15 seconds.
     
  5. Add greens, a few bunches at a time, tossing with tongs to evenly coat with oil.
     
  6. Cook until greens are wilted, about 5 minutes.
     
  7. Turn off heat and mix the sauce in with the greens.
     
  8. Enjoy immediately.

Easy Speedy Sautéed Greens

Knowing how to quickly prepare nutrient-dense dark leafy greens is a valuable and delicious skill.

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of greens (e.g., Swiss chard, collards, kale, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
  • Few pinches crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Rinse greens well; tear or cut leaves away from stems and discard stems; coarsely chop*
     
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat
     
  3. Add greens, a few handfuls at a time, stirring constantly (tongs work well for tossing)
     
  4. Toss in garlic, red pepper flakes and salt (be careful not to burn the garlic)
     
  5. Cook until just tender, tossing frequently for about 2 to 5 minutes depending on the type of greens (you may need to add a splash or two of water and/or cover the pan for a few minutes to steam firmer leaves)
     
  6. Season with freshly ground black pepper


*For kale and collards, remove and discard the tough, thick center stems.  For Swiss chard, chop the bottom stems and sauté for a few minutes before adding the leaves.