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Cold Steamed and Dressed Greens or Other Vegetables

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Makes 4 to 6 Servings 1x

Time 20 Minutes

Units Scale


  • 1 to 2 pounds leafy greens like kale, collards, chard, or spinach; or other vegetables (see the recipe note above)
  • Several tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 lemons, 1 halved and 1 cut into wedges


  1. Trim the vegetables and peel if necessary; chop or slice as you like. Steam the vegetables in the microwave oven, an electric steamer, or in a pot as described in the master recipe above. Cook them a little less tender or crisp than you ultimately want them to account for the cooking that continues as the food cools.
  2. As soon as the vegetables are ready, drain them well in a colander and quickly cool them by running under cold water or an ice bath.) If using greens, squeeze them as dry as you can manage. Shake off any excess water and let the vegetables drain for a couple minutes. At this point, you can refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to a day, then bring them up to room temperature before proceeding.
  3. Drizzle generously with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and squeeze the juice from the lemon halves over the top. Serve with more olive oil and the lemon wedges to pass at the table.


How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition

Recipe variations

Cold Steamed Bok Choy Salad with Ginger Dressing.

Use bok choy or one of the other greens listed in the recipe note. Instead of the olive oil and lemon juice, dress the greens with 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, plus a couple tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil.

Cold Escarole Salad with Garlicky Lemon Dressing.

Use escarole for the greens. While the vegetables drain, put 1/4 cup olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped garlic and cook until fragrant but not brown, less than a minute. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon grated zest. Toss the escarole with the dressing and top with a blizzard of grated Parmesan cheese and lots of black pepper.