Cooking Kale and Swiss Chard

I’ve been get­ting a lot of ques­tions late­ly on how to cook kale and swiss chard. I’m just going to give a few quick sug­ges­tions for some super sim­ple ways to cook these veg­eta­bles. These tips can also be used for any kind of leafy sautéing green, such as spinach or beet greens.

To prep kale or swiss chard for cook­ing, first you want to remove the tough stems (this isn’t nec­es­sary for small­er, ten­der­er leafy greens such as spinach, or baby beet greens). Fold the leaf in half so that the rib is exposed and then cut it away with your knife or gen­tly rip the leaves off the stem and rib. The stems are also deli­cious (par­tic­u­lar­ly swiss chard and beet green stems) but I rec­om­mend that you chop them up sep­a­rate­ly into small pieces and steam or sauté them for a lit­tle while before adding the leaves. After the steam is removed, then chop the leaves into bite sized strips.

Win­ter­bor Kale (curly leaf, tougher)
Red Russ­ian Kale (flat leaf, more tender)

The eas­i­est way to pre­pare kale is either by sautéing or steam­ing it. There are many dif­fer­ent types of kale, rang­ing from very ten­der White and Red Russ­ian Kale (my favorite type of kale and the kind we have been grow­ing and sell­ing all sum­mer) to the tougher Win­ter­bor Kale (which we’ll have this Fall). With ten­der vari­eties a short sauté or steam will prob­a­bly be suf­fi­cient to cook it through, but with tougher vari­eties you may want to sauté it for a lit­tle while to incor­po­rate some fla­vors and then add some water and cov­er to steam until ten­der enough to eat.

Easy Sautéing Recipe for Kale

olive oil
salt and pepper
red pep­per flakes*
lemon juice*


1. Wash kale well and prep for cook­ing by remov­ing stems
2. Chop the leaves up
3. In a large pan sauté minced gar­lic with a Tbsp of olive oil until gar­lic is wilt­ed (add some chopped up stems and/or onions if desired)
4. Add kale leaves and sea­son with salt and pep­per (Also good: crushed red pep­per flakes and/or cumin)
5. Cook, stir­ring, until leaves are wilt­ed and ten­der enough to eat
6. If cook­ing a tougher, curly leafed kale, add a lit­tle bit of liq­uid (water, vine­gar and wine to name a few) and cov­er to steam until ten­der enough to eat.
7. Sea­son to taste (maybe add a lit­tle squeeze of lemon juice) and enjoy!

Oth­er Sim­ple Kale and Swiss Chard Recipes:
Baked Kale Chips
Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parme­san cheese
Swiss Chard with Gar­ban­zo Beans and Tomatoes

Kale and swiss chard are two of my favorite veg­eta­bles, they are deli­cious, nutri­tious and easy to cook.

If you have any tips or favorite kale recipes please share them in the com­ment section.

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