Soul Food, Part 3: Turnip Greens


For a vegetable side for our soul food feast of dirty rice and smothered pork chops, we decided on turnip greens (Dutch: raapstelen, Italian: cime di rape). This preparation is suitable for other types of bitter greens as well, like mustard greens, turnip greens, or even broccoli. It is very easy and very tasty. You can make anything taste good (especially to someone from the South of the US) by adding bacon. It is interesting to notice though that if you use pancetta, guanciale or lardo instead of bacon, this recipe could just as well have been Italian! Here’s what we did…



bitter greens, like turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, or broccoli

smoked streaky bacon, diced

piece of fatback


chilli flakes



Wash and roughly chop the greens while you bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, add the greens and a piece of fatback. Cook until the greens are tender but still firm to the bite.


Meanwhile, cook diced bacon in a dry frying pan until crispy.


When the greens are cooked, transfer them to the pan with the crispy bacon and bacon.


When you have transferred all of the greens, toss over high heat until the greens are coated with the bacon fat and any excess water has evaporated.


Season to taste with salt and chilli flakes.


Serve as a side.



Do you like the edge to edge cooking perfection of the rack of venison above? That is what you get by cooking it sous-vide. It was very nice served with salsify and pickled cabbage.


13 thoughts on “Soul Food, Part 3: Turnip Greens

  1. Nice! And here Down Under you could achieve practically the same effect with our big choice of Asian greens: methinks would prefer those or even kale to broccoli!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For those who’d like a tasty recipe without the saturated fat — sauté the greens with spring onions in your favorite olive oil & add a couple of dashes of golden balsamic vinegar.


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