A family friend who runs a deli recently let me in on a secret: collard greens are great when stuffed. More flexible than traditional cabbage leaves, collards resemble grape leaves but require a little less prep. This is a great way to use up all those summer greens. You could even use large kale leaves.
I used brown basmati for the filling, but use whatever variety you have on hand. Quinoa would also work well here. This recipe makes enough for four, and keeps well – I ate leftovers all week.
1 large bunch collard greens (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 pound ground beef
3 cups prepared brown rice (about 1 cup dry rice)
1 large red or white onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup feta, crumbled
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt to taste
Greek yogurt for serving (optional)
1. Prepare your blanche and shock: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill another large bowl with ice water.
2. While the water is heating, stem the collard greens, keeping the leaves intact. When water is heated, blanch the collard greens for two minutes, then transfer to the ice water til completely cooled. Drain.
2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook til soft and translucent – about five minutes.
3. Add in the beef and the garlic and stir to combine. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. When beef is cooked, remove pan from heat. Combine with herbs, feta, walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice and rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. To stuff the leaves, place one on a cutting board, vein side up and stem end facing you. Place one tablespoon of filling (you can use a bit more for larger leaves) in the bottom center of the leaf, then fold the sides over and roll up tightly, tucking in the sides as you go.
4. Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.
Inspired by Recipes for Health