Sweet and Spicy Bitter Greens

November 11, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Serves 2 as a side
Author Notes

This is a modern take on the southern staple: a "mess o' greens." Traditionally tough greens like collards are cooked low and slow with ham hocks and seasoned with sugar, vinegar, and hot sauce. In this version, bitter dandelion greens and spicy mustard greens meet a quick sauté in bacon grease along with fragrant shallots and garlic. A quicker, fresher take these remain toothsome and bright, and are seasoned at the end with honey, apple cider vinegar, and hot sauce. And, of course, tossed with bacon. —Beth Kirby | {local milk}

What You'll Need
  • 2 slices of bacon, fried crispy, grease reserved
  • 3 cups dandelion greens, first 3 inches of stems discarded, cut into rough 1-inch ribbons
  • 1/3 cup diced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups mustard greens, tough stems discarded, sliced in rough 1"x3" ribbons
  • 2 3-fingered pinches of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar based hot sauce, like Louisiana, Crystal, or Frank's
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  1. In a large skillet, fry the bacon crispy. Remove, dice, and reserve. Reserve the grease in the pan.
  2. Add the shallots and garlic to the hot grease and cook, stirring and scraping up the brown bits, for about 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant and translucent.
  3. Add the greens, 1/3 at a time, adding the next third as soon as the first one wilts enough to allow them into the pan. About 20 seconds between each batch. Add 2 three-fingered pinches of salt, the vinegar, the honey, and the hot sauce. Stir to combine, and cook greens until just wilted but still bright, about 5 minutes.
  4. Season with additional honey, vinegar, or hot sauce to taste if desired, and serve tossed with the diced bacon.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • walkie74
  • Beth Kirby | {local milk}
    Beth Kirby | {local milk}
A Southern writer with a cast iron skillet & a camera. Freelance food writer & photographer. Blogs at

2 Reviews

walkie74 November 11, 2013
Question: I know what mustard greens are (my parents are from the South), but what exactly is a *spicy* mustard green? I'm a little lost here...
Beth K. November 11, 2013
ha! it was just an adjective that describes regular old mustard greens : ) Took it out so that would be clear!