ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Southern Cuisine: Holle's Greens and Ham

Updated on May 20, 2011

How to cook turnip greens and mustard greens

Greens are a staple of Southern food and soul food! In the Deep South, “greens” means turnip greens, collard greens, or mustard greens. Though all three are similar in taste and appearance, there are some differences. Actually, I don’t care for collards. I know – that’s very un-Southern of me, but they’re just too strong-tasting for me, and I don’t like the way they smell, either. I like turnip greens, but my favorite is mustard greens, especially when the leaves are young and tender. When I had my garden, I would go out early in the morning and cut a basketful of tender leaves to cook for the noon meal.

Turnip greens and other greens are packed with nutrients, and they just plain taste good! They're a great side dish to serve with baked ham, fried ham, fried chicken, pork chops, or just about any other meat or poultry. Hubby loves the "pot liquor" of the turnip greens - you know, the juice. He likes sopping it up with my homemade cornbread.

The hardest thing about preparing fresh greens is cleaning them. I know people who put them in the washing machine to accomplish this feat! I’ve never tried that. I usually place my fresh greens in a large pot of cold, salted water and let them soak for awhile to loosen any dirt and to kill any attached insects. Then I rinse them several times under running water.

Next, I remove any tough stems and discolored leaves. After that, I tear the leaves into smaller pieces. Some people use kitchen scissors to cut their turnip greens, mustard greens, or collard greens into small strips. Of course, now you can purchase pre-washed greens at the grocery store. It’s still a good idea to rinse them, though.

Here’s how I cook turnip greens and mustard greens:

What you’ll need:

4 pounds of greens (more or less)

Cured ham, cut into pieces (about a pound)

4-5 slices bacon (optional – see below)

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a black iron Dutch oven, cook ham until done. If the ham is too lean, you won’t have enough grease. In this case, fry a few strips of bacon with the ham. Do not drain off the fat!

Add the chicken broth, the sugar, the salt and pepper, and the turnip greens.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.

Put the lid on the pot and let the greens simmer for about an hour or until completely cooked.

Serve with my cornbread or my crackling corn bread and iced tea. Use the cornbread to “sop up” all the delicious pot liquor.

Most Southerners like to pour pepper vinegar over their turnip greens, but I prefer sweet pickle juice. Try it!

Turnip greens and ham at top center.
Turnip greens and ham at top center.

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)