Some of you may be a little skeptical that children could like collard greens wrapped around a filling. I admit that I was a little doubtful when I made these for two sisters several years ago. I was trying to find ways for them to eat more vegetables. I am not sure how this actually came about, but one day I was eating collard wraps and then the next day they were, too. Sometimes it really is that easy.
For these girls, I blanched large collard leaf halves in boiling water until tender but still bright and then set them out with their usual burrito fillings of chili, avocado, salsa, cheese and sour cream. (They aren’t vegan). The girls loved them and have been trying a variety of different fillings in these roll-ups ever since. For similar ideas check out nori rolls and salad rolls.
In the summer I sometimes eat the collard leaves raw filled with hummus and rice as a super quick and easy lunch. In my experience, children enjoy them more cooked. Especially the younger ones. However, every child is different.
Collard Green Roll-Ups
1 bunch collard greens, rinsed and spine removed
choose some extras:
thin carrot matchsticks
roasted squash or yam
red pepper slices
toasted nuts or seeds
fresh herbs like basil
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil on medium heat. Cut the leaves into large halves or quarters. Place 3-4 leaves into the boiling water and let cook until just tender and still bright. This may take anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds. It really depends on how fresh the greens are. Just be careful to not overcook them. Remove from the water and lay on a plate in a single layer to cool. Continue with the rest of the leaves 3-4 at a time until done.
2. Make the roll-ups by placing one collard leaf on a flat surface. Lay filling crosswise at one end of the leaf. Roll the collard leaf over the filling and continue to roll until you reach the end of the leaf.
3. Make the roll-ups ahead of time or place bowls of ingredients on the table and have everyone make their own. Have fun!