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Flash-Cooked Kale or Collards with Lemon Juice

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Makes 4 servings 1x

Time 15 minutes

Units Scale


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds kale or collards
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar


  1. Separate the leaves from the stems of the kale or collards. Chop thin stems into 1-inch sections (save any thicker than 1/8 inch for another use); stack the leaves, roll them up like a cigar, and cut into thin strips (see illustration below).
  2. Put the oil in a large well-seasoned cast-iron or nonstick skillet over high heat. When the oil smokes, 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. Taste, adjust the seasoning and vinegar, and serve hot or at room temperature.
Illustration: Alan Witschonke

— Recipe from How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition 

Recipe variations

Flash-Cooked Kale or Collards with Feta and Tomato
Add 1 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes (canned is fine; drain first) along with the leaves in Step 3. Substitute up to 1 cup crumbled feta cheese for the lemon juice.

Flash-Cooked Kale or Collards with Fermented Black Beans
Use good-quality vegetable oil instead of the olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon sliced garlic and 1/4 cup fermented black beans along with the leaves in Step 3. Substitute 2 tablespoons soy sauce for the lemon juice.