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How To Cook Southern-style Greens


Here are basic cooking instructions for turnip greens, collard greens, or mustard greens, with popular variations and additions.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 90 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Thoroughly wash 2 pounds of greens. Two or more washings may be necessary.
  2. Trim tough stalks and tear or cut large greens in pieces. Cut thick veins out of collard greens.
  3. In a large pot, bring 6 to 7 quarts of water to a boil.
  4. Add a ham hock or a 4-ounce piece of salt pork to the pot.
  5. Add a tablespoon of salt.
  6. Continue boiling for 10 or 15 minutes.
  7. Add the washed greens to the pot.
  8. Cover and simmer until greens are tender. Depending on the type of greens used, this might take an hour.
  9. Makes enough for 4 people.


  1. Crushed red pepper, a few tablespoons of bacon grease, chopped onion, or other seasonings can be added to the pot for more flavorful greens.
  2. Serve with cornbread and pepper sauce or cider vinegar.
  3. If desired, serve with chopped hard boiled eggs, bacon pieces, or sliced green onion for garnish.

What You Need:

  • 2 pounds greens
  • water
  • ham hock or salt pork
  • salt

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