I grew collard greens in my garden for the first time this year. I was on a bit of a cruciferous veggie roll after the resounding success of growing kale last year, planting cabbage, cauliflower and collards in the garden this year.
I have to admit I had never had a collard green before as I seldom see them in the supermarket and somehow I imagined they would be quite sharp tasting. I have no idea what gave me that impression. My only guess is that they are usually associated with a very long cooking method, which to me indicated that they were either super tough or that the long cooking helped to mitigate a bitter taste. I was curious though as I had seen some reference to using them in green smoothies. I figured ‘why not?’
Since I have never noticed collard bedding out plants I figured I’d better start my own. Tiny little seedlings were produced (I never start these things early enough) and in the spring I carefully planted just two plants into my garden. They were covered with row cover, along with the kale, cabbages and cauliflowers, to try to keep the cabbage moths away – to only some degree of success.
And for the most part, there they have sat. Growing away, but overlooked.
Until I discovered that they can be used as a substitute for flour tortillas in wraps. Perfect, and curiosity sparking. I wondered, if they were sharp like I expected them to be, what would they taste like as a wrap? Turns out, they don’t taste like much, or at least they don’t taste strong. And, they are pretty great for wrapping because they produce such sturdy, and huge, leaves.
Collard wraps, who knew?
Once the thick rib/stem that runs up the centre is shaved down, they easily roll up, stay rolled, and will take a hefty amount of stuffing too.
I made cauliflower hummus partly just to try it in these wraps and when I grilled up some greek inspired chicken skewers the other day, they seemed like a natural fit. So, my wraps were planned out. No turning back.
My row covers were only partly successful in keeping out the moths so my collard leaves have a few holes in them. These ain’t your perfect, and sprayed, store-bought greens, but once inspected for bugs and washed, they worked just fine to make these yummy wraps.
I stacked mine with the hummus and chicken, then some cucumber, grated carrot, and some alfalfa sprouts. Can you see how closely I shaved down the stem here? You need to get them pretty flat so that the greens will roll up without tearing.
This isn’t really a recipe as such, its more of a method. You could use lots of different things for stuffing. I could see making asian inspired wraps with kelp noodles and dipping sauce, or I feel like I could have used these greens for my fajitas the other night, saving me the carbs of the flour tortillas.
I’d love to hear if you’ve ever made, or had, a collard wrap, and if so what did you stuff them with?