Sicilian-Style Sauteed Greens Recipe

Sicilian-Style Sauteed Greens Recipe

The following recipe is from the November 19th edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

The many-colored stalks of rainbow chard have always looked better to me than they tasted. That was before I came across Martha Stewart's recipe, which uses the Sicilian flavors of raisins and almonds to counter the greens' natural bitterness.

This method works just as well with spinach and kale, and even broccoli and cauliflower. A simplified version, omitting the shallots, nuts, and raisins (and thus all ties to Sicily), is also possible, starting at the point where you cook the garlic and red-pepper flakes in oil.

  • Yield:4


  • For greens:
  • 1 pound Swiss chard
  • For nut mixture:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots (or 1 small onion), thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup whole almonds or pine nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup raisins (golden or dark), coarsely chopped, or other chopped dried fruit
  • For sauteing greens:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 to 2 tablespoons)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. 1.

    Remove stems from chard. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Add leaves and let stand, swishing in water occasionally to loosen grit, for 1 minute. Lift greens out of water. Drain bowl and rinse out grit. Repeat until no grit remains in bottom of bowl when greens are removed, up to 4 more times. Repeat with stems.

  2. 2.

    Slice greens crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips. Slice stems into 1/2-inch pieces, cutting just enough to yield 1 cup (discard remaining stems).

  3. 3.

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. 4.

    Add nuts and raisins and cook, stirring, until fragrant and raisins have softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove from pan; set aside.

  5. 5.

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same skillet. Stir in the chard stems and cook for 1 minute. Add greens one handful at a time, stirring to wilt slightly before adding more, then cook until wilted and tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

  6. 6.

    Add butter and stir until melted and combined. Squeeze lemon juice over greens and season with salt and pepper.

  7. 7.

    Return nut mixture to pan and stir into greens, then drizzle with a little olive oil, if desired, and serve immediately.