In the kitchen
Dark and loosely packed, these leaves don’t have the shelf life of a more tightly formed head of cabbage. Store in the fridge in its bag, and eat sooner rather than later. Will keep well for 3-4 days.
Prep & Cooking tips
You’ll only need to strip the leaves away from the larger stalks. The smaller central leaves can be sliced and cooked, stalks and all. The best way to chop the leaves is to lay them on top of one another and roll them into a tight cigar shape, then shred them, widthways, thickly or thinly depending on the daintiness of your dish. Wash them well before using.
They are best finely shredded and then gently fried in a little butter or oil. It will only take a matter of mins for them to wilt and become tender. They boil or steam in next to no time or can be stirred into any number of soups, stews and curries for the last few minutes.
Video: How to Cook Spring & Summer Greens
Things needn’t always be complicated. These greens are often at their best simply steamed, boiled or lightly wilted in a pan. A few mins is all you need; cook it for too long and, as with most brassicas, you’ll start to release more pungent flavours. Season with a little salt and pepper. If you feel the need then add a little butter or olive oil and maybe a restrained squeeze of lemon to finish.
2. A pinch of this and that
As a side dish it can be a real cultural chameleon. Fry gently with a little desiccated coconut and black onion seed to set alongside a curry. Sauté in a hot wok with ginger, chilli and soy for all things Asian. Some crispy bacon and fragrant caraway invite a union with something dark and winey. A swirl of wholegrain mustard for a spontaneous Sunday side.
3. The finishing touch
Very finely shredded, these greens make a fresh and healthy finish to a robust soup or stew. A minestrone or ribollita, heavy with tomatoes and beans, would be ideal. The Portuguese caldo verde is simply stock, potatoes, chorizo and handfuls of sliced greens to finish. Even a deep savoury bowl of miso will be enriched with a tangle of noodle-thin greens. 4 mins should be fine on a gentle simmer, serve immediately.
Goes well with
Alliums (Garlic, Leek, Onion)
Asian spices and flavourings
Fish and shellfish
Nuts and seeds
Spring and summer greens recipes
Watermelon & mint slush
Serves: 2 Total time: 5 min
Watermelon, strawberry & basil ice lollies
Serves: 6 Total time: 6h 10 min
Asparagus with egg, herbs and capers on toast
Serves: 2 Total time: 20 min
Roast asparagus, fennel & broccoli with sticky coconut rice
Serves: 2 Total time: 40 min
Mustard pork escalopes with parsnips and greens
Serves: 2 Total time: 30 min
Puttanesca steak and parmesan mash
Serves: 2 Total time: 30 min
In the field
Meet the grower: Guy Singh-Watson, Riverford on Wash Farm, Devon.
Riverford founder Guy Singh-Watson started the business at Wash Farm in South Devon in 1987, and we’ve been growing organic veg at Wash ever since.Read more
SeasonalitySpring greens are sown in July and August and harvest from January to April. Summer greens are harvested in June.
Winter-hardy cabbages sown in July and August, ready for harvest during the first quarter of the year when other green veg is scarce. They bring youthful freshness at a time when plates feel in need of a lift after winter.
Arriving later in the year, beautifully sweet and tender, they like a shorter cooking time. You should only need to remove the toughest of the stalks.