Dark Leafy Greens with Caramelized Onions, Raisins and Maple Walnuts

California Walnut Board
  • Yield: 4 servings

Most people can be a little intimidated by dark leafy greens. One trick to preparing them is ripping them off their rough spines. This makes them faster to cook and easier to eat. The other trick to preparing greens is adding some sweetness.


2bunches Swiss chard, or kale, washed
1/4cup chopped California walnuts
1teaspoon maple syrup
-- Salt
2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2medium red onions, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
1-- garlic clove, minced
1pinch red chili flakes
1/3cup raisins or currants
2tablespoons water
1teaspoon lemon zest


  1. Remove the tough stems from the chard or kale.  (Chard stems, though fibrous, are flavorful and may be saved and cooked separately, for another dish.)  Tear or cut the chard or kale into 1- to 2-inch pieces.  You should have 6 to 8 cups, lightly packed. Transfer the prepared greens to a bowl of cold water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. 
  3. In a bowl toss the walnuts with the maple syrup and a pinch of salt.  Spread the nuts on a small baking pan and bake about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are lightly browned and have a toasty fragrance.  Cool to room temperature.  
  4. In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften.  Turn the heat to low and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned in spots and very soft, or caramelized, about 20 minutes.
  5. Once the onions are caramelized, add the garlic and red chili flakes and stir for about 30 seconds, until you smell the garlic.  Add the raisins and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the water and stir briskly, loosening any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan.  Handfuls at a time, lift the greens from their water bath and add them to the skillet.  Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until the greens are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the lemon zest.  
  6. Arrange the greens on a plate or bowl and sprinkle with the maple toasted walnuts.  

Recipe courtesy of Rebecca Katz for the California Walnut Board.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 198
  • Fat 12g
  • Saturated Fat 1.5g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 6g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 30mg
  • Carbohydrate 22g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Protein 4g