Sautéed Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Have you ever had this classic Sicilian side dish? It’s made with leafy greens that you sauté with garlic in olive oil and toss with toasted pine nuts and raisins. It may sound like an odd combination, but it works; it’s sweet, savory, salty, spicy and just a little bitter. And as my mother would say—well balanced.

We used dinosaur kale (aka Lacinato or Tuscan kale) but you could easily use collard greens, mustard or turnip greens, or spinach. Any leafy green will do. The bonus? It takes less than 10 minutes to cook.

Sauteed Greens with pine nuts and raisins

Updated from the recipe archive, first posted 2010

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2, can easily be doubled

Collards and kale lose less of their volume when cooked than do spinach or turnip greens, so if cooking them, chop them a bit smaller than you would the spinach or turnip greens.


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 bunch kale, chard, collards, or turnip greens, etc., about 1 pound, tough stem centers removed (if any) and discarded, greens chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Roughly 1/4 cup dry white wine (can sub water with a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1 Toast the pine nuts: Heat a large sauté pan hot on medium-high heat and add the pine nuts. Toast them until they are fragrant and begin to brown. Pay attention as pine nuts burn easily. Stir or toss the nuts frequently. Once they are toasted, remove from pan and set aside.

2 Sauté garlic in olive oil: Add the olive oil to the pan and swirl it around. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds; the pan should already be hot, so it won't take long for the garlic to begin to brown.

3 Wilt the greens: Add the greens and mix well. Sauté, stirring often, until the greens wilt and begin to give up some of their water, anywhere from 1-2 minutes for spinach to 4-5 minutes for collards or kale.

4 Add the nuts, raisins, salt, and red pepper flakes: Stir in the nuts and raisins, and sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes.

5 Add the white wine: Use a little more wine if you are cooking collards, and less if you are cooking spinach. Toss to combine and let the liquid boil away. Once the liquid boils off, remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Sautéed Collards with Panko and Raisins - from Pink Bites

Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Raisins - from Not Derby Pie

Zucchini with Raisins and Pine Nuts - from The Perfect Pantry

Sauteed Greens with pine nuts and raisins

Main Ingredients