pickled greens

Question: where did June go?

Answer: I have no idea. But I do have a new recipe for the Vintage Recipe Swap. And I don’t have a very good intro for you.

But I have an icy cold savory addition to your dinner plate. Crisp, tangy, a little spicy and garlicky, and very little heat involved. All those greens showing up in your CSA, at the farmer’s market, or just in the grocery? Throw them in vinegar brine and watch em wilt! In one to three days, you have a condiment for all kinds of meals.

See, the weird, sugary coleslaw that showed up in my inbox a few weeks ago. It didn’t float my boat. But I had a lightbulb moment – the recipe looked far more like a pickle than a salad. So, why not pickle something leafy?

And then the box of produce that appeared at my door last week inspired the ingredients. A giant head of chard needed tackling. [Did I mention that I thought they were collards originally? Giant, thicker leaves were tricky to identify!] Chard isn’t my favorite green. Maybe I could counteract some of the bitterness with some zing?

Even one day of pickling created a simple condiment that is pretty delectable if you’re in the mood for some pickles. The greens get a little soft but not mushy and the stems stay very crunchy and addictive. [NOW I get why Kaela pickled those stems way back when. Good call!] Served along side of honey & soy glazed carrots, udon and an egg, it turned a few side dishes into a meal.

So go forth and pickle. Your refrigerator is calling you.

pickled greens

This simple refrigerator pickle has been tested with mustard greens and swiss chard. I'm not sure what other greens would pickle well. If you try any out, let me know in the comments.

Adapted from this Saveur recipe


  • 1/2 pound greens [I used chard]
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 thai chiles [or 3-4 jalapenos or serranos]
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed


  1. Clean your greens, and separate the stems from the leaves. Slice the leaves into 1-2" strips and slice the stems into 1/2-1" chunks.
  2. Heat the water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a small pot to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat.
  3. While the brine cools slightly, pack the greens into a clean 1 quart jar. First pack the leaves, then the stems. Top with the chiles and crushed garlic. You may need to tamp down the greens to fit everything.
  4. Pour the brine into the jar. You should be able to fit all the liquid in. Cover with a lid and ring. To distribute the brine evenly, I like to pick the jar up and tip it back and forth a few times.
  5. Let cool and refrigerate for 1-3 days. Eat!

3 Responses

  1. I love pickled anything and I too receive a CSA box that has me wondering what to do with the odds and ends from week to week. I did pickle a bit of cabbage as part of this month’s swap but decided that my pickle recipe needed just a hint more refining; your version will help me to play with this a bit more. Great swap and great use of your local veggies.

  2. I can’t wait to try this with some kale. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  3. […] out the recipe at nomnivorous » pickled greens. This entry was posted in something they ordered. Bookmark the permalink. ← Question: […]

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