Skillet Charred Greens

Skillet charred greens are exactly what they sound like—greens cooked in a skillet until pleasingly, smokily charred until the greens are crisp at the edges.

A pile of charred greens--kale and spinach--on a white plate

Skillet charred greens are just what they sound like. It’s a technique that’s actually remarkably simple and basically sears, blanches, and crisps the greens quickly and in a single skillet. (And you know what that means—a single skillet equates to minimal cleanup!) It’s a compliment-garnering side dish, which in our experience is not an easy thing to come by. Not easy at all.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Skillet Charred Greens

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4
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Ingredients

  • 2 bunches wild greens, collards, kale, escarole, or even fiddlehead ferns (about 500 g)
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Confit oil (30 ml)
  • 3 or 4 Garlic Confit cloves
  • 1/4 cup water (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (15 ml)
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese (13 g)
  • 1/2 lemon

Directions

  • 1. Wash the greens and shake them off but let a little water cling to the leaves.
  • 2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic confit oil and cloves and let the garlic sizzle for about 1 minute. Add the greens to the skillet and then carefully add the water (it will steam and may splatter). Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and steam the greens for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the olive oil and season with salt, toss once with tongs, and then cook for 3 to 4 minutes more or until the greens are charred to your liking. Add the cheese and let it melt over the greens for 1 to 2 minutes (or until it achieves the texture your cheese-loving heart desires). Remove the skillet from the heat, squeeze some lemon juice over the top, and serve right away.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

They were right. This skillet-charred greens is the simplest of recipes and easy to do for the beginning cook. I used kale the first time. I preheated the skillet to medium-high heat, added the garlic confit oil and cloves, and since the garlic is already cooked, immediately added the slightly damp kale. It did sizzle in the oil but didn't burn the garlic at all. My kale wasn't done steaming in 3 to 4 minutes. I waited until it was closer to 6 minutes as I didn't want it to be chewy. Once the kale was tender, it did char quickly once I turned the heat back up to high. I noticed that as soon as I added the lemon juice, the kale started to turn slightly brown but didn't seem to affect the flavor at all.

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