3

votes

How come my sautéed greens taste like snot?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 19, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Can someone, anyone please explain how I can cook heavy greens to be edible? I have spent a lot of time and money trying to figure it out, but I end up with a green soupy mess that literally taste like a metal can. I have tried mustard, collard, turnip, and onion greens.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 26, 2012
at 08:48 PM

I agree. If you do add commercial stock, try to find the low-sodium kind. Tastes just as good!

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on April 26, 2012
at 05:08 AM

A zillion southern cooks can't be wrong on this. It might be that you've had a bit too much acid in your cast iron or something... but no way is it the fault of the greens.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on April 20, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Acid at the end is a great trick!

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on April 20, 2012
at 03:37 PM

@Nemesis that is a great way to go and it helps make the salt adjustment easier if you don't heavily salt your broth, but a lot of broths including commercial ones are too salty, and if you do that you shouldn't add salt cured meat :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 20, 2012
at 12:17 AM

Slow-cooking greens, classic Southern style :) I like using chicken or beef stock instead of plain water for collards.

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 19, 2012
at 08:34 PM

And add extra water. I guess too much water then

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 19, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I sautée them with coconut oil.

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 19, 2012
at 08:31 PM

I only own 1 pot and 1 fry pan both are cast iron

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on April 19, 2012
at 03:43 PM

put them in meat stews and they taste good ...!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 19, 2012
at 02:52 PM

In my experience, sauteeing anything in a nut or seed oil leaves it tasting rather bland and greasy. Butter, ghee or grease/lard/tallow adds a great flavor.

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on April 19, 2012
at 01:25 PM

totally, right on.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 19, 2012
at 01:16 PM

Yeah, I only steam if they're a bit tough. Softer greens like spinach don't need to be steamed at all.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 19, 2012
at 01:00 PM

Really? I've found it to be quite the opposite.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:56 PM

Butter makes it better!!!

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:54 PM

Great technique. I've had success skipping the steaming step and going straight for the wilt.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:52 PM

Without knowing more about how you are preparing them I would have to join in the speculation that you are adding too much water and possibly overcooking them. I wilt greens in a pan with oil using only the water that clings to them when I shake them off after rinsing. Greens wilted in bacon fat=heaven.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:34 PM

I'm guessing that you are overcooking them and possibly using too much water. I suggest you follow Nemesis' directions below. You can add bacon and/or onion for some variety. And lots of butter. And salt. I like a little vinegar on teh spinach.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:30 PM

Wow, that was like, SO helpful!

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:01 AM

What are you doing with them?

  • 4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

    asked by

    (242)
  • Views
    1.5K
  • Last Activity
    1546D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

best answer

5
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on April 19, 2012
at 11:29 AM

You could be cooking them with a runny nose. Or perhaps you mistakenly used a bottle of snot rather than coconut oil.

best answer

7
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:07 AM

A lot of it depends on the greens you're using. Turnip, mustard and collard tend to have a "sharp" taste to them, and are often prepared by simmering in broth with ham and seasonings over a low heat.

Heat 1-2 Tbsp butter/grease/ghee/coconut oil/olive oil in pan on medium heat

2 cloves of minced garlic, saute until they turn golden

Add chopped greens

Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes to quick-steam them

Remove lid, stir greens frequently until wilted. Shouldn't take much more than 5 minutes total cooking time.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:54 PM

Great technique. I've had success skipping the steaming step and going straight for the wilt.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 19, 2012
at 01:16 PM

Yeah, I only steam if they're a bit tough. Softer greens like spinach don't need to be steamed at all.

4
Ff1dbd6cecad1e69a8234fb2c2c5c5ed

(1409)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:19 AM

Butter. Lots of it. You'd be appalled to know just how much butter goes into a side of spinach in a restaurant. Nemesis' directions are good, just add more butter at the end.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:56 PM

Butter makes it better!!!

3
Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on April 19, 2012
at 10:43 PM

You might try some milder greens, like kale and swiss chard. I know it's heresy to say this where I live (the deep South), but mustards and collards just don't do it for me. Kale, though, I eat like it's my job.

Regarding the long-and-low cooking approach for greens: if that's what you've been doing, it's possible you're going too long and with too much liquid. When I braise greens, I use the Cook's Illustrated method. I put about half a cup of water in the pot with a big mess o' greens, cover it, and cook over medium-low heat for 15-30 min (depending on how tough the greens are). Then I remove the cover, turn up the heat, and let it go a few more minutes until the residual water boils off. A little bit of acid (lemon juice or wine vinegar) and a lot of salt and pepper can also go a long way towards improving the flavor.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on April 20, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Acid at the end is a great trick!

3
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on April 19, 2012
at 04:12 PM

Iron coming out of your greens is sort of like sulfur coming out of broccoli, it means you are abusing the veggie and it is leaching nutrients from the cell.

You have two paths with greens- really quick high temp or really long low temp, either will pretty much keep the cell walls intact.

Low and slow is an option with ham hock or other seasoning. This uses water to cover. You need to be careful with salt when using a lot of water or other liquid, you want it as close to neutral salinity with the fluid inside the cells of the plant as possible- this means adding salt, but for me it means adding just a little bit less than what it takes to make the water actually taste salty.

Nemisis goes a great job of describing a quick high temp method.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 20, 2012
at 12:17 AM

Slow-cooking greens, classic Southern style :) I like using chicken or beef stock instead of plain water for collards.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on April 20, 2012
at 03:37 PM

@Nemesis that is a great way to go and it helps make the salt adjustment easier if you don't heavily salt your broth, but a lot of broths including commercial ones are too salty, and if you do that you shouldn't add salt cured meat :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 26, 2012
at 08:48 PM

I agree. If you do add commercial stock, try to find the low-sodium kind. Tastes just as good!

2
1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

on April 19, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Braising in homemade bone broth makes greens taste delicious. It even gets my finicky 5 year old (and almost as finicky wife) to enjoy kale and brussels sprouts.

1
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on April 26, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Season, taste, season, taste!

Use sea salt, and kosher salt, tiny amounts throughout your cooking to bring out the natural flavors and aromas of the greens. I salt a bit when they're raw. Then again when they hit the pan. Then I taste. Adjust while moving along. Season as you go, and you'll end up with a surprisingly flavorful dish. A bit of a salt and pepper can really elevate a dish.

Use the right kind of pan. You want a pan that will whisk away moisture, so you're not boiling your greens. This may also depend on not over-crowding the pan. Saute pans or skillets work nicely. Wok too.

Spice it up with herbs, some sauces, or use the pan drippings from your steak, or add a spoonful of super jelly bone broth.

Use pretty high heat. Once those greens start to glisten, take em out. (Use stable oils.) After they're out, drizzle lightly with extra-virgin-throat-burning olive oil, and toss a bit. Delicious.

You can also sweat off garlic, shallots, scallions, mushrooms, ginger (the aromatics first)...and then saute your greens.

Bake your greens. Olive oil, aromatic herbs.

1
026dde5c5ed48e30d006ac075410871e

(288)

on April 26, 2012
at 02:53 AM

Here's one way to make kale taste amazing:

  • Lay 5 or 6 pieces of bacon in a pan on medium heat.
  • Wash the kale and rip it into bite-size pieces, discarding the stem (it's bitter).
  • Distribute the kale over the bacon, using enough so that the bacon is fully covered. Let it cook like this, catching the bacon grease that splatters up, slightly steaming from the residual water on its leaves.
  • Turn the bacon when it's browned on the one side, also mixing the kale around so the pieces further from the pan get a chance to nestle next to the bacon. There should be a good deal of grease in your pan at this point, and I like to shove any dry-looking leaves into the fat.
  • Let the bacon finish cooking until it's pretty crisp. The kale will also be crisp with bacon fat.

SUPER DELICIOUS.

1
4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:24 AM

What kind of pan are you using? I've found that cooking greens in cast iron makes them taste horrible.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 19, 2012
at 01:00 PM

Really? I've found it to be quite the opposite.

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 19, 2012
at 08:31 PM

I only own 1 pot and 1 fry pan both are cast iron

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on April 26, 2012
at 05:08 AM

A zillion southern cooks can't be wrong on this. It might be that you've had a bit too much acid in your cast iron or something... but no way is it the fault of the greens.

0
D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

on April 19, 2012
at 11:36 AM

Spring Greens and Kale cooked in coconut oil is my most favourite thing ever. You must be doing it wrong.

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on April 19, 2012
at 01:25 PM

totally, right on.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 19, 2012
at 02:52 PM

In my experience, sauteeing anything in a nut or seed oil leaves it tasting rather bland and greasy. Butter, ghee or grease/lard/tallow adds a great flavor.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:30 PM

Wow, that was like, SO helpful!

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!