I was looking for ways to serve collards to my husband in a year of tons of CSA collards and started playing around with stuffing them. I have done meat mixtures and vegetarian mixtures with good success. I finish it with tomato sauce, also made from CSA bounty, but any good, simple tomato sauce would work here...I have noted how to make this vegetarian. —deanna1001
whole collard leaves, larger the better
ground pork (or use a mix of finely chopped mushrooms for vegetarian option
yellow onion, cut into small dice
cloves garlic, minced
slow roasted tomatoes, or sun dried in oil, chopped
olive oil, divided
red pepper flakes (or to taste)
dried thyme leaves
sherry or sherry vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl (or for the lazy way out you can just rinse with cold water, but the color is most vibrant with the ice bath. Also, the work flows easier I find as my stove is a ways from the sink.
Drop washed leaves in a few at a time and blanch them for about 2-3 minutes. Immediately submerse in ice bath to stop cooking. When all are done, cut out the center rib to make two half leaves. Hang onto that pot of water on the stove!
Cook the quinoa in that pot of water you left on the stove for 12-15 minutes, or until done. Drain and reserve.
Preheat the oven to 350º.
in a medium pan heat 1 tbs. of oil until hot and sauté the pork (or mushrooms) until browned and liquid is cooked off. Remove from pan and reserve.
Add rest of oil to pan and sauté the onion until translucent, then add garlic and cook stirring until fragrant. Add tomatoes and seasoning then return meat/mushrooms to pan and add quinoa. Stir to blend. Add seasoning and splash of sherry. If it seems too dry add a little water.
Build the rolls (see photos for help): Cut ends off leaves to make a rectangular shape. put a scant 1/4 c. of filling in the center. Fold in two side then roll up. Place seam side down on a plate. When all the rolls are done, place in a baking dish and pour tomato sauce around them.
Bake for 45 minutes. These freeze well and reheat nicely. Serve 4 each with a nice crusty bread and salad.