This week in our Bountiful Baskets we got Collard Greens.
HUH? Collard Greens? I have no clue what to do with those! The only thing that comes to mind is that boiled, nasty, bitter Southern dish that usually also includes ham or bacon!
DH says, “You said we need to eat lots of dark, leafy greens! You can probably treat it like Kale, like in quick stir fry or something.”
Yeah, right. I’m not sure I’m going to like this. But what the heck, one of the reasons we started with Bountiful Baskets was to expand our horizons and try new things.
As it turns out, Collard Greens are closely related to cabbage and broccoli. They are also genetically similar to Kale, so DH made a good guess on suggesting the quick stir fry. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and K. In addition, they contain nutrients that boost your immune system, with potent antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer properties.
So, DH went searching for a recipe and came up with Collard Wraps. I have to tell you, I was skeptical… I didn’t know if I would like this or not, but I’m game to try new foods at least once, if not a few times (in different preparations) before I reject them completely.
Here’s the setup.
Large bowl (to soak the greens)
1⁄2 lemon, juiced
red bell pepper
1⁄4 red onion, thinly sliced
alfalfa sprouts (and/or other sprouts of your choice)
fresh lime wedges
1 cup raw pecans
1 tablespoon tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon olive oil
Clean the collard leaves. Cut off the thick stems below where the leaf starts. Place the leaves in a bowl of warm water mixed with the lemon juice. Set aside. The leaves need to soak for at least 10 minutes.
Place the pecans, cumin, tamari and the olive oil in the food processor. Process until everything is mixed and the nuts are small grains, like couscous and the mixture begins clumping together. Set aside.
Cut the pepper into long, thin strips. Cut the Avocado into slices.
Now you’re ready to assemble!
Test a leaf, and see if it will roll. If the center vein is too stiff, slice the leaf in half, through the center vein. It should be easier to roll up with that stem cut in half. If necessary, you can remove it completely, and roll each half of the leaf separately.
Layer the nut mix, red pepper strips, avocado slices and sprouts on the leaf. Add a few of the red onion strips. Give it a drizzle of lime juice. Roll it up.
There are a couple of ways you can roll it, completely enclosed, by folding up both ends, or with both ends open. It’s totally up to you.
If the roll is long enough, you can cut it in half to make it easier to eat.
That’s it! It will go very quickly and you can have dinner ready in 20 minutes or less!
The amount of ingredients you need actually depends on how many servings you want to make. Two or three good sized rolls are plenty for 1-1⁄2 to 2 servings, depending on the size of the leaves you start with.
Smaller leaves are more tender, and make good appetizer rolls. Smaller leaves don’t have to soak as long as the big ones.
If you are soaking a large amount of leaves, you will want more lemon juice. The object is to get the citric acid into the leaf to tenderize it and help neutralize any bitterness. The warm water will make the leaves softer without cooking them.
We used a combination of alfalfa and radish sprouts. I think it would work with almost any sprouts. Might be interesting with bean sprouts, since there is tamari in it!
First I tasted a piece of a raw, washed leaf. I was actually really surprised! To me, it tasted like a spicy, chewy cabbage! I liked it! So then I was really excited about the rolls.
DH did most of the actual work on these, I just acted at the prep-person. Between the two of us, they didn’t take long at all to make.
I think next time, I’ll skip the “roll” part and make them more like tacos. I would like a bit more filling, but over all, this turned out to be a “keeper”! We will definitely have these again!
Here’s a finished roll.