A few chopped green garlic stalks or garlic scapes add a springy sweetness to collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard. You can even use spinach, just cook the green garlic an extra few minutes before adding the spinach and reduce the greens' cooking time to just 3 or 4 minutes.
The prosciutto is completely optional—vegetarians or people without some extra prosciutto kicking around in the fridge should feel free to leave it out.
- Cut out the thick stems from the greens. If using chard, reserve the stalks for another use. Rinse the leaves clean of any dirt or grit in cool running water. Shake off any excess water. Lay the leaves in a stack and cut them into thin ribbons (you can simply chop them coarsely, if you prefer). Set aside.
- Trim the green garlic or garlic scapes, discarding any yellowed or browned parts, and finely chop them. Finely chop the prosciutto as well.
- Heat a large frying pan (with a fitting lid) over medium-high heat. Add the oil. Swirl the pan so the oil coats the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the green garlic and salt. Cook, stirring, until the green garlic is wilted, about 1 minute.
- Add the prosciutto, if using, and cook, stirring, until it loses its bright pink tone, about 1 minute.
- Add the greens (they should still have a bit of water clinging to them, which is a good thing) and stir to combine them with the green garlic and prosciutto. There should be a bit of water on the bottom of the pan, if there isn't, add a tablespoon or so. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook until the greens are well wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir again, cover, and cook until the greens are tender. Depending on the greens used, this will take anywhere from 3 minutes (for chard) to up to 8 minutes (for hearty collard greens).
- Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste, as you like. Serve hot or warm.
* Feel free to use a slice of bacon instead of prosciutto; you'll just need to cook it before anything else. Depending on how much fat it renders, you can use the bacon fat instead of the cooking oil for greens with tons of flavor!