Salad Days – Collards Edition

Photo by Stephanie Phillips

I’ve been given the joyous task of doing some recipe creation for the Market-To-Go program at the Oak Ridge Farmer’s Market! If you know me, there’s nothing I love more than my local farmer’s market, where I get to talk to the folks growing the food, learn more about the seasonal givings of our land, and eat things produced in our community for our community.

Since it’s fall, I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes for one of my favorite fall items, collard greens. Growing up, I only had them cooked down with bacon and onions, which is, honestly, the best. But I started wondering other ways to use them.

This is a variation off of a kale salad that I used to make, rubbing the dressing directly into the leaves so that the salt and acid break down the cell walls and take in all of the flavors of the dressing. This helps also to soften the leaves while removing some of the bitterness.

While I previously was trying to stay away from recipes in the previous iteration of this blog, I thought maybe some direction may help those who are new to these ingredients and who want that guidance in the learning.

Make sure to get your orders in for this week’s Market-to-Go by noon on Thursday!

Collard Green Salad

Serves 4

  • 4 large collard leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 4 oz ground chorizo
  • ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 tbsp cotija cheese

For the Dressing:

Mince garlic and mix with olive oil. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.

Add vinegar and whisk.

For the Salad:

Wash and dry your collard leaves.

Stack them on top of one another and cut them in half length-wise.

Roll the leaves into a tube and cut them into ½ inch strips. (The final version should look like ribbons.

Sauté your chorizo until cooked thoroughly. Remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel.

Add collard leaves to mixing both with salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk your dressing one more time and then add to the salad.

Toss with your hands, being sure to work the dressing into the leaves. Let the salad sit with the dressing for approximately 5 minutes before serving. This allows for the collards to soften.

Portion your salads into four plates. Top with equal amounts of pepitas, chorizo, and cotija.

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