What to do with a mess of greens…


Thanks to my weekly delivery from The Produce Box, I found myself with some beautiful turnips and beets… AND turnip and beet greens! I could barely fit it all into my refrigerator vegetable drawer. What was I going to do with all of that food?

First, I separated the beets from their green tops. I like the smaller beets because I don’t have to peel them. I just cut them into pieces, tossed in oil and some cumin and roasted at about 400°F in my little toaster oven. After about 10 minutes, I turned them over and cooked another 5-10 minutes. 


I tossed them with a little balsamic, salt and pepper (and a little extra cumin, which I love). After munching on a few for a snack, I stored the rest in the fridge to use on my salads.


Next stop, the turnips! I cut them into sticks and did the same thing, but I used smoked paprika instead of cumin. Nice!


I came up with an easy way to toss vegetables in oil and seasonings. I placed everything in a Tupperware bowl, put the lid on it and shook it. Works great!

turnip sticks

I cooked them just like the beets.


But then I had a big mess of greens that I really did NOT want to throw away. It was time to pull out my Mess O’ Greens recipe! This definitely falls under the category #whatsoldisnewagain.

I tried to come up with a healthier version of the traditional Southern-style mess of greens. My grandmother used to boil them all day long, and they ended up a yellowish-green mushy mess! The real meaning of “mess” however, is “ever how much you need to feed your family.”

I’ve written up the recipe using 1 bunch of greens, but you can easily double or triple it for your family size. This method of cooking is used for tough or bitter greens like collards, kale, turnip, beet and mustard greens. Do not cook spinach or chard this way. 

First, wash the greens very well. Then chop the greens into smaller pieces. Sauté some onion in butter. Add water, vinegar, the greens, and some diced turnip if you have one. 



Boil for a tad bit. 


Spice it up with Tabasco (the true southerners’ hot sauce), salt and pepper, and eat with cornbread, which you can dip into the pot liquor (the leftover juices). In fact, you can remove the veggies from the liquid when they’re done to your liking, then reduce the leftover juices for a richer flavor. 

Your Grammy might also give you a hug around the neck and bless your heart!

Click here for the recipe.

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™