Cooking times for turnip greens differ depending on the amount of liquid used. When no additional liquids are introduced to the braising skillet with the prepared greens, they are soft enough to eat in less than five minutes. Adding liquids extends the cooking time to as long as 60 minutes.
Flavorful ingredients diminish the noticeable bitterness of turnip greens, caused in part by their high calcium content. For a simple side dish, peel and cut turnips into chunks and add to a large skillet with olive oil and sliced garlic, sautéing and stirring until the turnips are tender. Add washed and chopped turnip greens and cook just until they are wilted. Add a squirt of lemon juice and salt and pepper.
For ham hocks and turnip greens, place 1 3/4 pounds of ham hocks and 2 quarts of water in a Dutch oven, bring to a boil, and simmer for two hours. Wash and chop 2 bunches of turnip greens, and add to the pot along with the roots, cut in half. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar and simmer the greens for 60 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.