5-Ingredient Smoky Radish Greens

With a rich smoky flavor, Smoky Radish Greens is an easy, tasty vegetable side, flavored with bacon and smoked paprika. A 5-ingredient recipe!

With a rich smoky flavor, smoky radish greens is an easy, tasty vegetable side, flavored with bacon and smoked paprika. A 5-ingredient recipe!

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This dish was created out of a CSA surprise.  You have to love an unplanned recipe that turns out amazing!  And with spring coming (who else is chomping at the bit for fresh local food!) I though it deserved updating! 

You see, a couple years back, my CSA farmer decided to share all the beautiful greens that topped his turnips, etc. He gathered them into bundles, then left them next to the CSA boxes as free extras. Sadly, many people don’t know that radish leaves are edible along with lots of other greens like turnip greens and kohlrabi tops!

Alas… not too surprisingly, at the end of the pickup day, there were many bunches left. Since I host one of his pickup sites, I knew it was up to me to finish.  With a rich smoky flavor, smoky radish greens is an easy, tasty vegetable side, flavored with bacon and smoked paprika. A 5-ingredient recipe!

Which is how this sauteed radish green recipe was created. With a beautiful smoky flavor from smoked paprika highlighted by a richer smokiness from the bacon bits, it’s extra easy if you use packaged, chopped bacon!

Yes, this is a simple 5-ingredient recipe with zero compromise on flavor!

What are Radish Greens?

Radish Greens are simply the radish tops, the leafy green part of the radish that sticks out above ground. Most people don’t know that the greens are edible in addition to the root! They’re surprisingly delicious, and a great way to be sustainable by not wasting any of the vegetable.

Why You’ll Love This!

  • Easy. With only five ingredients, it doesn’t get much simpler than this!
  • Unique. This dish is a wonderful way to try something new while using a part of the radish you’d ordinarily throw away.
  • Tasty. The delicious, smoky flavor will definitely have you reaching for seconds.
  • Frugal and Healthy.  In these days of high grocery costs, it pays to use everything you can. Especially something as healthy as greens!  For more on radish greens benefits and nutrition, see Organic Facts.

Pile of fresh radishes

What You’ll Need

Ingredients

  • Radish Greens. I used radish greens since i had them but other greens would work as well. 
  • Smoked Paprika. This creates the smoky flavor.
  • Bacon Bits. This adds a savory element and enhances the smoky flavor.
  • Butter or Olive Oil. This is what the greens are cooked in.
  • Salt. This adds a bit of flavor to the dish.

Special Tools

  • No special tools are required.

Step by Step Directions

The hardest part is to chop the greens into smallish pieces. I usually use an Ulu Knife which is a pretty efficient way to do this. Another way is to place the greens in a large cup and chop them up in the cup using kitchen shears.
Chop radish grreens

Then you simmer in a little water until very tender. (Cover and use a larger sautee pan or saucepan, picture below is for illustration.)
cook radish grreens

After cooking the radish greens until tender, drain off the water. Add butter or oil, bacon bits, and smoked paprika. Mix, then add salt & pepper to taste. With a rich smoky flavor, smoky radish greens is an easy, tasty vegetable side, flavored with bacon and smoked paprika. A 5-ingredient recipe!

Types of Greens

Who would have thought that eating radish greens would be so tasty!  And I was also happy to learn that many of the other greens that top root vegetables are edible! People use carrot tops for pesto and I have made this  recipe with radish greens, turnip greens and kohlrabi tops that I would normally have discarded.

You can also use greens that don’t top a root crop like kale. You just need to cook it a bit longer (probably 45 minutes) to make sure it is tender. Collards would be another option!

Radish greens uncooked

How to Serve

Radish Greens are a great side dish! The smoke flavor from this recipe would pair wonderfully with some grilled ribs or pork chops. You could pair it with my popular Dutch Oven or Slow Cooker Ribs or my Thyme Marinated Tender Pork Chops.

Leftovers

Leftover cooked greens should keep for 3-4 days, covered and refrigerated.  And in case you run into a super bonanza like I did, they will also freeze well.

Very fresh uncooked greens should keep in the refrigerator a week or more, loosely packaged. 

Can I freeze fresh greens? Yes, if you have an abundance of greens, they are easy to freeze. Just blanche, squeeze out excess water and pop into a freezer container or zip loc bag.  Come winter, they will be so welcome!

Chop greeens

Tips and FAQs

The most labor-intensive part of this is chopping the greens. I like them medium-fine chopped (see picture above) to ensure they are tender. In a hurry I’ve been known to pulse them in a food processor but since that takes them pretty fine, I usually I chop by hand with an Ulu Knife. Another way is to place the greens in a large cup and chop them up in the cup using kitchen shears.

The cooking time can be longish, but it’s hard to overcook greens. So, as long as you can be sure they won’t burn, you can focus on other things while they cook.

I usually use the pre-cooked chopped bacon that is shelf stable until opened (after which I keep it in the freezer). You just pour out what you need and it makes any dish with bacon super easy. The downside is that it’s not organic, and usually not nitrate-free, but I figure given the mere tablespoon per serving, perhaps the lower stress makes up for that :). 

For vegan greens you can add vegetarian bac’uns bits instead of bacon and olive oil rather than butter.

Smoky Radish Greens

Smoky Radish Greens

With a rich smoky flavor, smoky radish greens is an easy, tasty vegetable side, flavored with bacon and smoked paprika. A 5-ingredient recipe!
Author: Inger
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Fruits & Vegetables
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 217 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 cups chopped greens lightly packed
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup cooked bacon bits pork or vegan
  • 1 T butter or olive oil
  • Salt pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Chop the greens into smallish pieces, no more than 1 inch wide.
  • Simmer/steam in a little water until very tender, 20-45 minutes depending on the type of green. I recommend erring on the side of overcooking.
  • When tender, drain off the water.  Add butter or oil, bacon bits, and smoked paprika.  Mix, then add salt & pepper to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 13gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 350mgFiber: 16gSugar: 2g
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published Jul 1, 2021.

16 thoughts on “5-Ingredient Smoky Radish Greens

  1. David Scott Allen

    I will definitely be making this soon, as I buy radishes every week. If I’m careful, I can hold the greens from one week to the next so I will have enough to make a good batch for me and Mark.

    1. Inger Post author

      It was eye opening how good they were. So now I’m totally looking for new ways to prepare them!

    1. Inger Post author

      We get so much basil that I am usually full up on pesto, but I may have to try some greens for variety!

    1. Inger Post author

      Wow, that would make some mighty nutritious bone broth! Definitely trying that!

  2. David Scott Allen

    Greens are sometimes my favorite part of the vegetable – turnips, beets, radishes – the greens are soooo good! I love how you did these with bacon and the paprika! Such a wonderful (almost healthy) side dish!

    1. Inger Post author

      I’m sticking by “a tablespoon of bacon won’t break the bank” David 🙂

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