Cooking Greens

By Cook's Illustrated Published May 2011

We’ve blanched, steamed, stir-fried, and sautéed enough greens over the years to know that some taste best cooked quickly over a high flame, while others benefit from slow, gentle heat.

To pair the right leaf with the right cooking method, follow our thoroughly tested guidelines.

Beet Greens Medium-Tender S
Bok Choy Crisp, High Moisture SF
Collards Sturdy SB, PS
Green Cabbage Crip, High Moisture QB
Kale Sturdy SB, PS
Mustard Greens Sturdy SB, PS
Napa Cabbage Crisp, High Moisture SF
Red Cabbage Crispy, High Moisture QB
Savoy Cabbage Crisp, High Moisture QB, SF
Spinach (mature) Medium-Tender S
Swiss Chard Medium-Tender S
Turnip Greens Sturdy SB, PS

Key: PS=Pan Steam; QB=Quick Braise; S=Sauté; SB=Slow Braise; SF=Stir-Fry

Collard greens and kale have tough, thick stems that must be trimmed before they can be used in recipes. Hold each leaf at the base of the stem over a large bowl filled with water. With a chef's knife, slash the leafy portion from each side of the stem. Discard the stem.