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This is one of the best ways to sauté leafy green vegetables. It is easy and only takes a few minutes so this is a great recipe for weeknight dinners.
When it comes to nutrition, leafy greens are rock stars – they top the charts in vitamins A, C, E and K, potassium, and fiber with only 5 to 40 calories per cup. Greens also are a great source of folate which is necessary for DNA duplication and repair which protects against the development of cancer. They also contain various phytonutrients like lutein, beta-carotene, zeanthin. Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods.
These sautéed greens make an excellent veggie side dish for lunch or dinner. It has become trendy to serve them at breakfast alongside poached eggs, whole grain toast and fruit; in a breakfast bowl with roasted cauliflower or roasted sweet potatoes, a cooked whole grain, a fried egg, sliced avocado and a sprinkle of seeds; or on a open-faced egg sandwich.
If you enjoyed this and want to try my other sautéed greens recipe that I paired with seared scallops, go here.
This serves 1 person generously.
10 ounces or about 4 cups greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, beet greens or chard, roughly chopped. I like to use a mix called Power greens (baby spinach, kale and chard)
¾ Tbsp. olive oil
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves crushed
A pinch or two of chili pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you want it
Salt and pepper
Good quality balsamic vinegar, to taste (see suggestions to purchase on Amazon below)
Heat a nonstick skillet on medium high for a minute. Add the oil, garlic and chili pepper flakes. Cook for a minute or two until the oil sizzles around the garlic and the garlic turns golden. Watch carefully, you don’t want the oil to burn.
Add the chopped greens and toss to coat with the oil. Continue to cook and toss until the greens are done to your liking. This only takes a few minutes. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Toss and serve immediately.
A Note on Balsamic Vinegar
You will get what you pay for, for a good quality vinegar, you will pay a premium. Top-quality balsamic vinegar is labeled as aceto balsamico tradizionale, signifying that the traditional methods from Modena Italy have been used in processing and aging it.
As balsamic vinegar ages, moisture evaporates out, thickening the vinegar and concentrating the flavor. It is this aging process that makes true balsamic vinegar from Modena so expensive. Surprisingly, balsamic vinegar brings out the sweetness of fresh fruits such as strawberries.
Here are a few recommendations that I consider affordable and one that would be a fun splurge if I could afford it!