Monday, June 6, 2011

Collard Rolls

For three weeks in a row our community vegetable garden,The Eric Waller Community Vegetable Garden , to be precise, has harvested an abundant crop of collards. Collards are a cruciferous vegetable and can boast about their high nutritional value here. Amazing huh? Cancer fighting, detox and anti-inflammatory. Lets grow more collards!
As the members of our flourishing garden stood around the leftover pile of kale and collards contemplating whether or not to take on the challenge of preparing the often over looked green, recipes started to fly. Personally I love collards, they're tough, flavorful and hold their own in any menu situtation. I hope we plant a late summer crop for the fall (hint, hint).

One of my favorite ways to eat collards, especially when you have giant collard leaves like we harvested this weekend, is to make Collard Rolls.
Its a fairly simple recipe, open to numerous interpretations, but the key is to not over blanch the collards!
I like to serve mine with a yogurt sauce mixed with fermented beets/turnips/onions, along with fresh French radishes from my front yard garden and mung bean sprouts to accompany the meal. Lets just say you'll feel like you can fly after eating this!

Collard Rolls
Serves 2-3 adults

You will need:
A large pot of boiling water
A large ice water bath
6-9 big collard leaves, washed, patted dry and the thickest part of the stem removed
Filling: (this is what i used)
1 cup brown rice
2 cups washed and chopped kale (from the community garden)
1 chorizo sausage cut into small pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
Generous dash of paprika
1/2 of a squeeze of lemon

Saute the chorizo in a small amount of olive oil over medium heat until brown, add onions and saute until translucent, add a generous dash of paprika and lemon juice, saute 1 more minute and add the kale, saute until the kale is bright green and remove from heat, add the rice.
Prepare to blanch your collards. Using your tongs and one leaf at a time, dunk it into the water, count to 20, remove immediately into the ice bath (it helps to have this bath near your stove) transfer to a cutting board and proceed with the others until done.

Similar to spring rolls, roll em' up until you have enough for a meal (one adult can eat about 3). Serve with yogurt, fresh garden veggies and sprouts. Eat! *see pics above for rolling techniques...