The difference between collard greens and spring greens

I’ve just come back from Brazil where I discovered they grow collard greens like weeds. Collard greens belong to the botanical plant group, Acephala (part of the Brassica oleracea species) which includes kale, cavolo nero, and spring greens. Collard greens grow better in warmer climates, whereas spring greens grow better in northern Europe, but they are very similar and they can be used pretty much interchangeably.


Anoint your greens with garlic oil

This is the dead-simple, commonly made way to cook greens in Brazil. I use the super-garlicky infused oil I also learnt about on the trip, but you can extemporise and mix fresh garlic in with nut oil (walnut goes well) if you like.


You can make it all in the time it takes to listen to Yo-Yo Ma playing Libertango (yes, I know Astor Piazzolla was an Argentinian… but it’s the next door country), wonderful, below.


Recipe for garlicky shredded greens


For four


  • About twenty large leaves of spring or collard greens, or cavolo nero
  • 3 tbsp garlic oil OR 3 tbsp nut oil mixed with 3 fat, cloves of garlic peeled and crushed with smoked salt
  • 1 tsp smoked salt (if using garlic oil)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Wash the leaves and cut out the tough stalks
  2. Using a long, sharp knife, shred
  3. If you don’t have garlic oil to hand fry the mixed oil and garlic for a minute or two, then add the greens
  4. Stir well to coat the greens, and continue to fry for another three or four minutes until the leaves just begin to wilt
  5. Season, and serve


how to cook spring greens