Simple Sautéed Greens

Got three to five minutes? Then you have time to make these garlicky dark leafy greens.

Simple Sautéed Greens

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: Three to five minutes
Makes four servings


  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red-pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches kale, Swiss chard, spinach, or other greens (about 6 cups), torn and washed
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (or a dash of ground)
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest


  • In a medium sauté pan or skillet, heat the olive oil. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes, and sauté for 30 seconds, until aromatic.
  • Add greens to pan; salt and sauté until their color begins to darken and intensify.
  • Add nutmeg and lemon zest; serve warm.

Tip: Removing the leaves from the heavy stems causes the greens to release more phytonutrients.

Tip: Store unused greens in an air-tight container to extend their life.

Why No Numbers? Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) that if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

MS, director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, is the author of several cookbooks, including Clean Soups and The Healthy Mind Cookbook. She lives in San Rafael, Calif.

Photography by Andrea D'Agosto; Prop Styling by Alicia Buszczak; Food Stylist: Paul Jackman

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