greens, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, side dish,

Collard Greens with Garlic and Lemon


Collard Greens with Garlic and Lemon

Recently I was on one of my local news channels talking about foods that are in season in Colorado right now. If you’re interested in watching the segment, you can find it here. Another recipe I made that day on the show was Stuffed Peppers, you can find that recipe here.

One of the foods in season in Colorado this time of year are all kinds of greens including lettuce, kale, spinach, arugula, dandelion, mustard greens, Swiss chard, and collard greens. I happen to like them all (except for mustard greens).

What Not To Do

No joke, I once made a smoothie with fruits and Romaine lettuce and many other ingredients and I included mustard greens. What a MISTAKE! I literally thought I was going to vomit from the taste of it. But I felt bad throwing away all the other ingredients I had used to make the smoothie so I sucked it up (pun intended) and drank the whole thing!

It was so bitter and pungent! Like eating a mouthful of mustard. It was terrible and I vowed NEVER to make it again! And I kept that promise.

That was a painful experience, but as Benjamin Franklin said, “I know 2,000 ways how NOT to make a lightbulb”, I now knew how not to use mustard greens. Definitely no more smoothies.

Recipes You Should Make With Greens

Since then I have learned lots of ways TO use greens successfully.

Milder greens like spinach and kale, even dandelion, you can put into a smoothie. Swiss chard is the perfect size to use instead of a tortilla. Collard greens can be used as a larger tortilla (to make a burrito) or sautéed as I have done in this recipe.

In this recipe, I cut my collards into ribbons and then sautéed them with garlic and a little olive oil. At the end, I added some lemon zest and a sprinkle of lemon juice to brighten the flavor and to better absorb vitamin C and iron from the greens.

Collard Greens with Garlic and Lemon

You may use Swiss Chard or kale instead of collard greens if you wish.


1 bunch collard greens, Swiss chard, or kale
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic (depending on your affinity for garlic)
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon


  1. Wash greens thoroughly and cut into strips (chiffonade).
  2. Use a garlic press or finely chop garlic cloves.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic cloves for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add greens and sauté 3-4 minutes until just softened.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn off stove and zest lemon over the greens.
  7. Squeeze a little lemon over greens to brighten the flavor.