Sautéed Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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

Sautéed Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 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.

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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

Showing 4 of 13 Comments

  • Jessica

    This is the dish that taught me to love greens. I’ve been making it since you first posted the recipe. Thank you so much!

  • Susan

    THIS is the recipe that finally got the rest of my family to like kale. Wonderful balance of flavors. Now it can go into our regular dinner rotation!

  • Angie

    So tasty! I wish I had doubled the recipe. I left out the wine or water and just sauteed in oil, since this is how I’ve sauteed spinach before. The pine nuts and golden raisins were great additions.

  • Victoria

    WOW! I have never tasted anything like this! The first few bites…..I wasn’t sure I should have purchase the expensive pine nuts & Kale which I’ve never tried. But alas, the more I ate the better each mouthful became! I will make it again however; I will try it without the wine. So glad I found this….the nutritonal value of Kale is amazing…I will share with my patients!
    Thank you!!!!!!! (0;

  • Tracy

    I do use the white wine but only approx half the amount then I add a little seasoned rice vinegar to make up the other half of the amount… depending on how much taste you prefer, I add more or less of the vinegar. I have also used a mixture of 1/4 seasoned rice vinegar with 3/4 tarragon vinegar. Another option is to add in a sight amount of Tamari to the mixture as well. All very yummy!

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