Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mediterranean Stuffed Collards

Collard Greens?  Who eats Collard Greens, unless you're from the deep south?!  Who has even heard of them, or knows what they are, or where to find them??  I will admit that I too was "Collard illiterate" until my dad started doing a little research of foods he could eat that had extreme health benefits.  All of a sudden Collard Greens began ending up in all of his food, from omelets to sandwiches!  So, this blog goes out to my dad, whose obsession with Collard Greens helped me come up with the perfect lettuce to wrap with!

In a bowl combine:

2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. crushed red peppers (this one is optional, but I love the little kick it adds!)
6 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 t. agave

-whisk together, and set aside while you prepare the rest.

-microwave 2 packages of Seeds of Change Quinoa and Whole Grain Brown Rice (according to instructions)

-Note:  I buy these in bulk as Costco because I know they can be a little expensive elsewhere...but they make the cook time of this recipe so much faster, and you cannot beat the texture!  If you'd rather, add 4 cups of cooked rice and/or quinoa to make the equivalent.

-To the dressing mixture, add:

1/2 c. each, chopped:

roasted red peppers
kalamata olives
(you could also add sundried tomatoes, chopped fresh tomatoes, cucumbers...)

1/4 c. pinenuts
2 c. chopped fresh spinach

-mix everything together, rice, chopped veggies, dressing, and set aside while you prepare the Collards.

-You should be able to find a bunch of Collard Greens in the fresh produce section of your grocery the beet greens and fresh lettuces.  They look like huge, dark green, hearty leaves, with thick stems.  You'll need just about the whole bunch for this recipe.

-To prepare, wash them each thoroughly, trim off the lower part with the thick stem, and set on a paper towel.  Now, you can either blanch the leaves (bring water to a boil, dip them in until they begin to soften, then let them rest in ice cold water until you're ready to use) or microwave each leaf for 10 seconds...which is what I did!  This makes the leaves a little less tough, and more pliable for wrapping.

-Spoon some of the rice mixture into the leaf, being careful not to over stuff!  Fold the two long sides together, then roll the rest of it up, tightly, burrito style!  Secure with a tooth pick!

-Repeat for the rest!

-These will keep for days in the fridge, so they make a nice little snack or lunch if you're in a rush and just need to grab something!

-They're also a gorgeous way to impress friends if you're having them over for a light lunch!  Serve with some Pesto Garlic Toast:

The Pesto:

1/2 c. pinenuts, toasted (look below for toasting instructions if you are unfamiliar!)
1/2 c. fresh basil (I have to admit, sometimes I've been known to cheat on this step and just buy a tube of fresh basil...I just use the whole thing instead of rinsing and chopping...shhhh, don't tell!)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. freshly smashed garlic (or again, cheat and use the tube!)
1/4 t. sea salt
1 t. lemon juice

-Throw all these ingredients into a food processor, and mix until smooth and thick!  Go ahead and taste'll be SO impressed that you just made this!

-Here is my cheaters version if you're only making it for 1-2 people...

Take your favorite whole grain bread, throw it in the toaster.  When it's done, spread coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil on it, and then generously smear your fresh pesto over top.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, and put under the broiler until peso begins to bubble (around 1 minute)...DONE...easy...delicious!

If you're serving a large amount of guests...

Take a good loaf of whole grain french bread and cut horizontally into 2 long loaves.  Spread GENEROUSLY (and I mean slather) with coconut oil, then top with your pesto (again generously).  Sprinkle about 1/2 t. of sea salt on each half and bake at 350 for 5 minutes.  Finish under the broiler to crisp up the top.


  1. i love the collard wraps! thanks so much for participating in our #ricelove bloghop! just for future reference... this bloghop is for september 2011 recipe posts only! :)

  2. What a nice presentation! Looks really good, and it's a colorful dish, everyone would eat it all haha