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Simple Southern Style Braised Greens

There are far more elaborate and time consuming versions of this dish. You can add all sorts of other riddles and games, such as chilies, beer, molasses, ham hocks, vinegar, onions, apples, nuts, etc. While these things are all great (REALLY great, on occasion!), I'm going to go with a "quick and dirty" version, comprising of ... greens and ... bacon! Nothing else!

Ultimately, what we have here is a bitter green. You can use any of the following for this recipe: kale, beet greens, chard, collards, mustard greens, or any other hearty green. With some kind of fat and the liquid that comes out of the greens themselves, the greens will wilt and mix with whatever you add to them. They lose a lot of their aggressive bitterness and become a very nice, soft and VERY healthy dish. Serve as a side dish, as the base for a meat, as a snack, as a component for a future dip, etc.

A vegan variation might use something like: olive oil, greens, garlic, apple cider vinegar, a cinnamon stick, toasted pecans and apples!

*Ahem* ... because I generally like to keep it simple and believe in the healing power of bacon ...
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 157.0625kcal
Author: DJ Foodie


  • 8 slices raw bacon chopped (for bits)
  • 1 1/2 lbs hearty leafy bitter greens washed and cut into bite sized ribbons
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the bacon in a (fairly large sized) pot deep enough to cook all the greens, at once (with a lid).
  • When crispy, strain the bacon bits and set aside. Save fat for another day. Do not clean the pot.
  • Add all the washed, cut and dried greens to the pot and thin layer of bacon fat.
  • Return the bacon bits to the pot.
  • Season with a small amount of salt and pepper and cover with a lid.
  • Let the greens steam themselves, over a medium heat, until they begin to wilt. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the greens, to allow them to continue steaming evenly. Cover and let steam for a further 5 minutes.
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve!


Serving: 8g | Calories: 157.0625kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.7625g | Protein: 6.405g | Fat: 12.385g | Fiber: 1.7025g