I really like collard greens. I grew up in the South, well if you can count Florida as “the south”, as eclectically diverse as it is. My grandmother cooked them down until very soft, but only in water so they weren’t unhealthy. She had a jar of spicy jalapeno vinegar to splash on them and they were so filling and satisfying. You don’t need to cook them down so much to enjoy them as so many people are catching on to the delights of gently steamed or shredded raw collard greens. For this recipe you will need:
- 1 1/2 cup uncooked Brown or Bhutanese Red rice (preferably organic when cooking with rice)
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (can use chicken stock or water)
- Pinch sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (Chick peas), drained
- ½ cup minced celery
- ½ cup prepared cole slaw (cabbage and carrots)
- ¼ cup chopped pitted black olives (can substitute green if you prefer, I like Cerignola olives particularly)
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup vegan soy mayonnaise (can substitute thick strained plain Greek style yogurt)
- 1-2 teaspoons your favorite seasoning blend (Jane’s Crazy salt is always a winner)
8 collard green leaves, washed and dried
To make the collard wraps:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with the broth and sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then you want to reduce the heat to a gentle simmer on low, covered, for approximately 40-50 minutes or until the rice is fluffy and soft.
- Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, except the collard leaves. Mix well and set aside to cool.
- To prepare the collard leaves, you will need to trim off the stems. You can do this by laying each leaf out on a cutting board and running a small paring knife down the thick central stem in a V-shape towards the middle of the leaf. You do not want to cut the entire leaf in half, just remove the thick vein and stem.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat and add 2 or 3 collard leaves. Boil for a minute or two, until dark green and tender. Remove with tongs and transfer to a colander to drain and cool. Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Take a cooled collard leaf and lay it stem side facing up. Place 1 cup of rice-bean mixture in the center and roll the collard leaf around the filling to make a wrap. Do this for the rest of the collard greens.
This serves 4 people with 2 wraps each. I recommend a bright and tangy Tahini dipping sauce with this.
- 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste easily found in a grocery store)
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
Combine the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and whiz together into a nice dressing consistency. Adjust the seasoning to your liking, and thickness by adding a little water if you want to thin it out.