Recipe Index

Braised Greens with Lemon & Olive Oil

Seves 4-6


Simple juicy braised greens with olive oil and lemon are simple, hearty side for most any Mediterranean meal. While you could use just one, a blend of leafy greens is the most interesting. Try experimenting with chicory or escarole greens as a base (they’re so very Greek and Italian in character), then throw in a handful of spinach, chard (without the stems), those older, longer leaves of late-season arugula and even dandelion (use only organic, harvested dandelion…not the stuff from the neighbor’s lawn). For this particular blend stick to tender greens listed and save the tougher cabbage family greens like kale and collards for other recipes.


  • 1 1/2 pound mix of tender cooking greens such as escarole, chicory, curly endive, large arugula leaves or dandelion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons white wine or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2-3 lemon wedges


1. Remove any tough stems and thick stem bases from the greens. Chop leaves and stems into 2 inch pieces, place in a big mixing bowl or salad spinner cover completely with cold water. Let greens soak for 5 minutes, swishing around occasionally to remove any grit and drain greens well. Shake away any excess water.


2. In a large deep 12 inch skillet fry garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 1 minute, then add handfuls of greens. Stir to reduce bulk of greens, adding more greens until everything is in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and cook until greens are reduced in bulk and juicy looking but still bright green; depending on what you’re using this can be 4 minutes or up to 8 minutes. When greens are softened, add white wine and lemon juice, simmer for 2 minutes then turn off heat.


3. To serve, use tongs to lift greens out of the skillet and in to a shallow serving dish. Pour the pan juices over the greens, add a few twists of black pepper over the greens and serve with a few lemon wedges on the plate for additional lemoning-up the greens. Greens can be served either pipping hot or warm.