Flash in the Pan: Sautéed Greens with Onions and Apples

[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now.  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]


[With Collards, Chard and Red Onion]

It’s been a truly crazy past week, what with our new semester starting up today at the college and my cookbook deadline being perilously close.* (And let’s not forget the Golden Globes from last evening–didn’t B & A look marvelous amidst the hubub and Moet & Chandon? And did you hear that Tracy Morgan is the new face of the US?  But Mamma Mia, that Ms. Streep is timeless! ) With all that, there’s been no time for handiwork in the kitchen.

Instead, here’s what I’ve been eating lately–and by “lately,” I mean pretty much every day.  I’ve made this three times in the past six days: it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious and it contains nature’s most nutritious vegetables, leafy greens.  And with all the deep browns, ochres, ambers and ecrus I’ve been consuming over the past few weeks, I figured it was time for some green.


[With Collards and Yellow Onion]

Besides, I adore leafy greens and have been trying to include them in my diet more often. Jagged, zippy dandelion greens are like the tough kid in the schoolyard, the punk who wears his black leather jacket like a trophy and loiters in the corner of the schoolyard chain-smoking.  With a hard and bitter exterior, he’s really a sweetheart once you get to know him.  Collards, with their elegant, frond-like shape, are the modern jazz dancers of the group, deftly swaying side to side as they harmoniously meld the delicate and the cacophonous. And kale, my very favorite, is the ditzy neighbour, the plucky, perky best friend, the Mary Richards of leafy greens; she fidgets and bobs and sighs histrionically, clad in her ruffly collar and matching cuffs–she’s a little wacky, maybe, but always honest and reliable.  How could you not love greens?

This dish was created when I had intended to try out a recipe for brussels sprouts and apples I read about on Vegalicious a while back. When I discovered I had no sprouts, I opted for the greens instead (heck, they’re all brassicas, right?). Using the other recipe for inspiration, I threw this together.  It was ready in ten minutes, and I was left to marvel that something so simple could taste so good. 

The barely-wilted greens are chewy and toothsome, while the apples and onions, having softened and caramelized slightly, provide a balancing sweetness to the slightly bitter leaves. The addition of lemon juice here, besides imparting an appealing tang, renders the minerals in the vegetables more bio-available (and thereby more easily absorbed) so you can best benefit from their high mineral content.

* As to the cookbook, right now, it looks as if the publication date will be mid-April; I’ll report back as soon as I’m given a “firm” date from the publisher. What this means, however, is that my blogging may become slightly more sporadic over the next few weeks, as will my commenting on other blogs.  But know that I’ll keep reading and enjoying all of your blogs even if I don’t make my presence known. And I do hope that you will still comment here–I always look forward to, and read, every single comment on this site–it is truly a high point in my day! 


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Last Year at this Time:  Asian-Inspired Napa Cabbage Salad

© 2009 Ricki Heller

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  1. Hooray for yet ANOTHER tantalizing “flash in the pan” dish – you never disappoint, Ricki 🙂

    Best of luck with the upcoming semester!! I start back to classes today, so I understand the crazy preparation and all that.

  2. This looks great! And a fab way to get greens in when its far too cold for a whole lot of raw.

  3. flash in the pan recipes are such a rock’n idea – thanks for the recipe, Ricki! i love it! fast & tasty – what’s not to looooove?!? i’m a huge collards fan – never had dandelion greens – but i want to try them sometime, too! what a quick seasonal dish!

  4. Yummy, I had collards today! Yours look better, though :o/

    Gooooood luck with the cookbook stuff, Miss Ricki!

  5. oh, that sounds awesome. I had collards for lunch, but always want more! Just the kind of hearty and warming foods perfect for winter.

  6. That looks fantastic! I love the combo of apples and onions. The addition of greens is just beautiful.

  7. My fave thing about steamed greens is how much they shrink! You can pack in a few servings of spinach by sauteeing it.

  8. I’m making this tonight for dinner! I’m so happy I have all the ingredients =)

  9. MMMM…I’m eating roasted Brussels sprouts and apples as I write this. Tucked inside a sweet potato with some chickpeas, and a little ginger dressing…so good. I’ll have to try this version out as well. Thanks!

  10. Great looking dish! I love kale and collards but haven’t been able to handly the bitterness of dandelion greens. I’ve never had a thing for bad boys either, hmm.

  11. Goodness.

    Mid-April is so close…

    Delicious. Incredibly so. Am ever-so-slightly seasonally envious, I am.

  12. I feel like lately I’ve been seeing a lot of variations on quick greens recipes. This looks great! Dinosaur kale is my favorite, I still can’t quite imagine regular kale tasting that good….

  13. Good luck, Ricki! I know it will be stressful with both the new semester and the cookbook. If you need anything, let me know!

    This looks fabulous. I just got some collard greens and was looking for something to do with them–perfect timing!


  14. Oooh, onions and apples, sounds like a great combo!!

  15. Those might be the best descriptions of leafy greens that I’ve ever read!

    Mid-April sounds like a lovely time for a book. 🙂

  16. sounds delicious and you do have a way with describing greens that makes them sound so desirable – though strangely enough, I never come across any of these greens in Melbourne – maybe I am not looking in the right places (oh yes, kale is at the boutique green grocers occasionally)

    good luck with the cookbook – am sure it will be worth the wait!

  17. Kale and collards and onion and garlic. Sounds perfect.

  18. I love the flash in the pan idea! We all need a collection of super quick yet healthy dishes. And good luck with wrapping up the cookbook; how exciting!

  19. good luck with the cookbook, and thanks for another great recipe. i love the idea of spinach with sauteed apples.

  20. don’t say the D-word! (deadline)

  21. Good luck with your busy-ness!

    I’m intrigued by all these greens – collard and kale and dandelion greens, I’ve heard of them but never encountered them in Australia, I wonder if they’ve got a different name here?

    Also intrigued by the idea of apples.

  22. Mmmm sauteed is my favourite way to eat my greens and this sounds wonderful! Like S above me says, it’s sad, we get minimal greens here (spinach and ummm swiss chard, that about covers it, kale if you live in the right parts but I don’t 🙁 )

    Good luck with the rest of the cookbook 😀

  23. This sounds so good, Ricki – love the personality descriptions, perfect!
    Don’t forget – I’d love to help if there’s anything I can do to help with your Freedom!! Tee hee!

  24. Oh yum — I think we’re all feeling that an abundance of greens is exactly what we need right now! I’m going to try this for lunch today — thanks!

  25. Mmmmmmmmmm,greens – can never have too many recipes for those! I like your sweet potato smoothie, too.

  26. **Just as a heads up: I will not be able to comment on blogs as often now, during this semester, due to work overload (I’m stressed already) – PLEASE know that I’m still loyally reading, but just won’t have time to comment. I hope you understand!!

  27. These look great! I can’t wait until the cookbook comes out!

  28. This sounds quite interesting … I really do need to go out on a limb with apples, beyond the crumble, pie, or general snacking, I can’t say I have been adventurous!

  29. yumm that looks delish!!! congrats on your cook book and good luck with your semester!!!

  30. And I was just wondering what to do with the collards sitting in my fridge. It’s like you read my mind Ricki! I loved the description of all the greens — kale’s my favorite too.

    I can’t wait until your book comes out; I’ve been drooling over the photos of your food on the cookbook blog.

  31. Mmmm I love quick sauted food, the way they are cooked yet fresh & crunchy. I have never cooked apples tho.. in a way like this!

  32. Ricki,
    I love your description of the dandelion greens as the tough kid and curly leaf kale as Mary Richard’s!! Recipe looks superb. Let us know about the cookbook. If you send out a mailing, put me on the list please, meg@megwolff.com

  33. ooh, love the addition of apple to the greens 🙂 good luck with the finishing of the cookbook!!

  34. This is right down my alley, I love the combination of apples and greens!

  35. With everything on your plate, not including the food, this sounds like it’s perfect for time and content. I’m just not even sure where the days go anymore.

  36. Yummy vegetable dish indeed, just what we need to fend off colds!

    Good luck with your cookbook schedule 🙂

  37. Love your Greens characters! hehe.. I adore all of them, but I have an affinity for Collards.

  38. A great side vegetable dish Ricki. I am excited to hear more details about your upcoming book

  39. The cookbook news is so exciting, Ricki! Sweet apples and onions with greens sounds fabulous.

  40. It’s countdown to cookbook time! You must be so excited, I can’t wait to get it! YAY!

    I always enjoy all your celebrity references. It reminds me of the Gilmore Girls, and I love my GGs! 🙂

  41. You really can’t beat sauteed greens… and with the added sweetness of apples? Perfect!

    I am so so excited about your cookbook Ricki! That is so great to hear that things are coming along.

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