Wondering how to prepare collard greens? Collards are usually served as a cooked side dish to southern American fare. This recipe is a fresh take on collard greens that is as nutritious as it is delicious.
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While I do enjoy a good pot of southern-cooked collards, using them in a salad is a unique and healthy twist. I was looking for different ways to use a large collard harvest, and I’m proud of how this improvised salad turned out.
The garden was also doling out daikon radishes and carrots. I thought, ‘Why not combine them all with a little homegrown cayenne pepper, for a mighty punch of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vitamins A, C, and K?’ (As any normal, non-health-nut would say to themselves.)
The combination of leafy greens and root vegetables will also promote good digestion, which is always good news.
Because the collards are marinated in a good quality olive oil, they have a mild flavor and texture that makes them easy to eat. And the root vegetables, because they are shredded, add nutrition without adding a strong flavor.
Marinated Collard Green and Carrot Salad
Servings: 2 meal-size salads or 4 side salads
*PLANNING AHEAD: Collard greens are best marinated overnight, but in a pinch can be eaten after marinating for 10 minutes.
- 1 bunch collard greens (or 4 cups of collards chopped into ribbon strips)
- 1/2- to- 1 cup shredded root vegetables (I used equal parts homegrown carrots and daikon radishes, but beets, turnips, rutabaga, or parsnip would work, too.)
- 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (I like Bragg)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch or two ground cayenne pepper
- pinch or two of black pepper
- Prepare the collard greens by washing the leaves, removing the center stem, and cutting them into ribbons. A good chef’s knife (like a Sabatier forged carbon steel chef knife) will last a lifetime and make this step a cinch. Here is a good photo demonstration of how to cut the leaves into ribbons.
- Place the ribboned collard greens in a large bowl. Pour in the olive oil and salt. With clean hands, massage the oil and salt into the green leaves, squeezing gently, for 1-2 minutes. You’ll know you’re finished when you can begin to squeeze moisture out of the leaves. This is because the salt breaks down the cell walls, releases moisture, and allows the oil to penetrate the leaves, which makes the collards tender and easy to digest in their raw form.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate the collards overnight, or at the very least, 10 minutes.
- The next day when you’re ready to eat, add the shredded vegetables, sprinkle in the cayenne and black pepper, and pour in the lemon juice. Stir to mix well, and add more salt, cayenne, or black pepper if desired. Divide into two large bowls (or 4 small bowls) and serve.
Optional: Make it a Meal!
We topped our salads here with chopped deli turkey, but I also enjoy it with half a can of tuna or wild caught salmon (Wild Planet is my favorite brand). It’s a very satiating meal.
What’s your favorite way to prepare collard greens?
This article appeared in Tasty Tuesday.