Spring greens with orange

Serves 2

Leafy veg are a bonus in the ‘cold months’ when roots and cabbages dominate our home-grown veg choices. You can make this with a Savoy or January King cabbage, or with some of the outer leaves from one, but I think spring greens – loose leaved, non-hearting cabbages – have the best and sweetest flavour. I’m clearing them from my polytunnel at the moment here in Orkney, so this is a dish that we are enjoying quite a lot right now! It’s not boring though, as it is great with any poultry or game, white fish or salmon, sausages or a thick slice of ham. If you shop in a supermarket for your veg you can usually buy bags of sliced spring greens which would be perfect for this.

Here’s a video about this recipe. It’s a few years old but has been watched a lot.

  • 2 small heads of spring greens or about 12 leaves of cabbage, depending on size
  • 1 large orange
  • 25g softened butter

1 Wash the greens and remove any large or tough stalks. Roll up the leaves and shred them coarsely. Grate the zest from the orange into a small bowl and mix with the softened butter plus a little salt and pepper. Cut away the pith from the orange then chop the flesh into chunks, reserving any juice.

2 Cook the greens in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly in a colander.

3 Chop the greens in the colander with a metal spoon squeezing out any remaining juice then turn them into a serving dish or the saucepan emptied of any cabbage water. Add the orange butter with the chopped orange and mix together. Season lightly and add a little freshly grated nutmeg if you wish. Serve immediately while piping hot.

We had this for lunch today with some gorgeous hot smoked hickory ham, a speciality of Donaldsons butchers in Albert Street, Kirkwall, Orkney.

Top Tips:

Brussels sprouts tops, one of my favourite veg, are also delicious cooked like this.

Leafy greens are really good for you and, with the orange, provide loads of vitamins, especially important at the moment as we all try to stay well. The greens are really good for maintaining healthy eyesight too.

You can use olive oil if you want, instead of butter.

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