At times, I like to mix things up in the kitchen — combine ingredients that don’t seem plausible, create my own Dr. Frankenstein-esque recipes and just generally do things out of the norm. I’m not always that way, but every now and again . . .
For this week’s Meatless Monday recipe, I took a Greek favorite and added a little soul food flair. Stuffed grape leaves are a wonderful dish, so I had no reason to believe Stuffed Collard Leaves couldn’t be just as delicious. Collard greens can be tough in texture if not cooked properly, but blanching the leaves certainly helps.
I wasn’t sure how this recipe would turn out. I’ve never cooked with grape leaves before and, thus, have never made stuffed leaves. But like I said, that whole Dr. Frankenstein thing had me going. For me, the worst part of making these Stuffed Collard Leaves was, well, stuffing them. This explains why mine are so crazy looking and less tube-like than they should be. But hey, they ate the same! Try them … you’ll like them. Bon appetit!
Stuffed Collard Leaves
- 1 lb. fresh collard greens, stems removed
- 24 ozs. vegetarian meat crumbles (I used Tofurky Ground Beef Style)
- 16 oz. can of tomato sauce
- 2 c. uncooked white rice
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tbsp. coriander
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. chopped tarragon
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt (I used McCormick Mediterranean Spiced Sea Salt)
- 24-48 ounces vegetable stock, optional*
Wash collard leaves under cold running water. Drain. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the collards in boiling water for 1-2 minutes to blanch. Remove with tongs and allow to them cool.
For the stuffing:
Combine vegetarian meat crumbles, lamb tomato sauce, rice, onion, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, coriander, tarragon, garlic, salt and pepper; combine well.
To Stuff the Collard Greens:
Place a collard leaf, vein side up, on a cutting board. On the bottom center of the leaf, place roughly 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture. Fold the sides of the leaf toward the center and roll up, burrito style. It’s a good idea to place them in a pot as you roll them, side by side, then stack in layers.
Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the rolls. [*You can substitute the water with vegetable stock as I did. It adds a little more flavor]. To prevent the rolls from moving around during cooking, place a plate on top of them to weigh them down. Cover the pot and simmer on low for about 40-50 minutes, until the rice and vegetarian crumbles are done. Gently remove the rolls with tongs and serve immediately.