A Mess of Greens Traditional Gardens by Rosalind Creasy

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A Mess of Greens Traditional Gardens by Rosalind Creasy

Greens have long been a tasty and nutritious staple in the rural South. I find it unfortunate that most urban people are unfamiliar with eating greens. Most gardeners know that this is one of the easiest crops to grow in abundance. Here is a variation on a traditional preparation method that opts for a minimum of water and cooking time to retain nutrients and flavor. Note that the two-pound equivalent in cups for the raw, packed greens appears in parenthesis following each kind. When preparing greens, remove all tough stems unless you are using chard-its stems are tender and tasty.


  • �-1/2 pound bacon or salt pork, coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds or so of greens-mustard (12 cups) collards 14-16 cups. Kale (16 cups), dandelion (12-16 cups), or chard (16 cups)-washed and torn or chopped
  • � cup cider or wine vinegar
  • � cups water
  • 1/8-1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


In a large skillet, fry bacon or pork until crisp. Add greens, vinegar, and water. Then cover skillet and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until greens have wilted. Stir in sugar, mustard, and pepper. Cover and simmer on low heat 5 minutes longer or until greens are tender. Uncover pan and cook off excess liquid, or serve it in the Louisiana way as �pot likker,� in a separate boil as an accompaniment to the vegetables. Also good with some parboiled dice potatoes added in with the greens.

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