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 largesse. Last year one of my CSA farmers decided to share all the beautiful greens that topped his turnips, etc. He gathered them into bundles, then left them with the CSA boxes as free extras. Sadly, many people don’t know that radish greens are edible along with lots of other greens like turnip greens and kohlrabi tops! And super tasty too!
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. But even I had to admit, I barely knew what to do with them, having just one greens recipe (Spicy Turnip Greens) in my repertoire.
And so my Smoky Radish Greens recipe was created. It gets a beautiful smoky flavor from smoked paprika highlighted by a richer smokiness from the bacon bits. And for one more special tip (see notes below), you don’t even need to fry the bacon if you use packaged, chopped bacon. How easy is that!
Yes, this qualifies as a simple 5-ingredient recipe with zero compromise on flavor!
Step by Step Directions
The hardest part is to chop the greens into smallish pieces. I usually use an Ulu Knife which I think is a pretty efficient way to do this.
Types of Greens
II was really happy to learn that many of the 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!
And if you have an abundance, greens will freeze. Just blanche, squeeze out excess water and pop into a freezer container or zip loc bag. Come winter, they will be so welcome!
Notes and Tips
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 .
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 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.
- 8 cups chopped greens, lightly packed
- 1 t smoked paprika
- ¼ cup cooked bacon bits
- 1 T butter or olive oil
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 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 Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 350mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 16gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g
Nutrition data accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
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