Mess o’ Greens Recipe

This recipe calls for collards, but any of your greens will be fabulous like this. Also note that we suggest rolling the leaves together and slicing them into 1/2-inch strips before cooking to avoid the mess and hassle later.


Adapted from

Collard greens (or Kale or Mustard Greens–Spinach and Swiss Chard cook faster)
1 large or 2 small ham hocks, or 1 package bacon, cooked
Salt to taste

Wash greens thoroughly, several times to ensure they are clean and free of insects.
Remove large stems. Place ham hocks in an extra-large pot with enough water to cover.
Add salt and cook at least 30 minutes before adding greens. Add collards, and bring to a boil. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour (maybe less if you cut them up first), stirring once about midway through. Test stems for tenderness at 45 minutes by piercing with a sharp knife. Cook additional time if necessary.

Remove from heat and drain in a colander, reserving the juice (pot liquor). Chop greens, leaving no large leaves or pieces (or do this before cooking like we suggested). Add some of the pot liquor if the greens are too dry. Salt to taste.

Serve hot or at room temperature with your choice of toppings, such as: hot pepper; vinegar; onions and vinegar (chopped onions and vinegar mixed together); salsa; small whole tomatoes.

Tip: Butternut Squash Puree

Don't trade this. Eat it! This pint of thick, rich, all-the-work-has-been-done-for-you goodness is a keeper! You can make so many kinds of yummy sweet or savory dishes with it, like butternut squash risotto, soup, ravioli, lasagna, muffins, pancakes, oatmeal, brownies, or cookie bars.Read more


As both a vendor and a member, I've found Fair Shares to be a wonderful organization to be a part of. It has opened my eyes to a whole range of farmers/producers in the region that I may never have had the opportunity to come in contact with if it weren't for my involvement with Fair Shares. And you folks all rock!

- Josh Allen

Josh Allen, Companion Bread, St. Louis MO
Companion Bakery