Main & Side Dishes - Southern Vegetable Dinner

Southern Country Greens

Turnip greens and mustard greens are used in this simple recipe, but you can also substitute kale, beet greens, or collard greens. On New Year’s day the number of peas you eat represents the amount of coins that will come to you in the new year. The greens, of course, represent the greenbacks or paper money you will receive throughout the year.


1 big bundle of mustard greens

1 big bundle of turnip greens, with or without the roots (turnips)

1 ham hock, piece of salt pork, or several pieces of bacon

salt and pepper to taste



Cut or strip greens off of stems. Wash them very well, at least 3 times in a sink full of water. It's important to use a lot of water so that any sand on the greens will fall to the bottom away from the greens. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Wash and peel the turnip roots. Cut into pieces and set aside with the greens.

Add the pork to a large pot and add 1 to 2 quarts water, depending on how many greens you have. Bring to a boil.

Add the greens and turnips a few at a time, until they have wilted enough to get them all in the pot.

Boil greens on medium for about 1 hour. You can also simmer them on low all afternoon, the longer they cook, the better they taste.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve greens with cider vinegar or pepper vinegar for a great-tasting traditional combination.

Copyright ©  Mike Perry, 2011