Spring greens

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself- what are spring greens? I never have. Until today, when it dawned on me, that I couldn’t explain what they were. They are not kale or chard leaves, they have tougher stems, it seems. So I did a quick research online. Spring greens are cabbage leaves. It is a type of a cabbage that is closer to its predecessor wild cabbage, the mother of all brassica plants. Spring greens are a type of cabbage that never fully forms a well defined head, just a very loose one. Confusingly, the term may sometimes be used to refer to other green leaves of the Brassica family, including kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, turnip tops, swede tops, etc.

Spring greens are available during the hungry gap period, when there isn’t much else to harvest. They are a good source of vitamin C, which is good for strengthening your immune system.

The following recipe is the simplest way to cook spring greens. They could be replaced with other leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, chard, beets.


  • 1 good bunch of spring greens (around 250g)
  • 1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt

1. Make the dressing first. Zest the lemon and then juice it. Mix it with olive oil and salt. Set aside.

2. Cut the stems away from the leaves, and then chop the stems finely. Set aside. Roll the leaves tightly and cut them.

3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the stems first and and boil them (or steam) for 2 minutes. Then add the leaves and cook for another 3 minutes. Drain in colander, and let the steam escape the leaves.

4. Toss it in the bowl with the dressing.


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