Collard Rolls with Beef

Danny told me to make’em, so I made em. Collard rolls, like cabbage rolls with collards instead of cabbage. And the collards we’ve been getting these shares are perfect for these rolls, sweet flavor, sturdy leaf structure. I went to town and used some basil and parsley cubes in the tomato sauce the rolls are cooked in. These are a great way to store herbs for winter use. Simply blend the basil or parsley, mix it with a decent amount of olive oil and freeze in an ice cube tray. Once frozen pop the cubes into a plastic bag in the freezer. Whenever you want to use them just take out the desired amount and put them in a bowl in the fridge 4-6 hours before cooking. You can add them to a saute or mix them with pasta sauce, or make pesto with the other ingredients (the ones that are easy to find in the winter) fresh. Anyway, thats a side note to these delectable rolls. As advertised, you should cut out the stems and steam them with the greens for about 10-15 minutes until soft, then fill them with your desired filling, fold and roll them into tight little green burritos, cover with sauce and bake for 25-30 minutes…And since I’ve just described the whole recipe its time to reprint it in instruction manual form. Have fun food unit assemblers!

Ingredients:

10-20 collard leaves and stems

1 leek (finely diced)

2-3 carrots, turnips or other roots (washed and diced into small pieces)

2 cloves garlic

1 lb ground beef

1 cup cooked rice

1 T cumin

1 T coriander

1 T red pepper flakes

1 cup red sauce, pizza sauce or other tomato based sauce

2 T parsley (finely diced)

2 T dried or frozen basil

2 T olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Filling, cook your rice before hand, I recommend adding 1/4 cup chicken stock to the cooking water for flavor and such. In a medium sized bowl combine rice with beef, spices, and diced veggies. Mix well and set to one side.

Combine the tomato sauce, parsley, basil and olive oil in a small bowl and set to one side.

Remove the stems from the collards and chop them into ¼ inch pieces.Continue to cut the leaf along the stem line so that you end up with large oval shaped leaf pieces. In a steamer, or colander in a soup pot over 1/2 cup water, steam the stems and greens for 10-15 minutes, until pliable and dark green in color but not too soft. Strain, and add the stems to the beef mix and incorporate.  Set the greens on a plate and prepare for assembly.

Preheat oven to 350.

For roll assembly, pour some of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a large casserole pan and spread to cover the surface. Take a collard leaf in you hand and visually divide it in half widthwise. Add a scoop of beef mix to the middle of one of the halves. Fold the two outside edges over it, then fold the short end up and over and continue to roll it up into the long other half. When you are done it should look like a big collard green golf ball. After a few rolls it will be easy. Place each roll in the casserole dish, packed close together to keep them from coming open. When you have filled the dish, pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the rolls and spread smooth. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. A great dish to serve with a yogurt dressed salad, roasted beets or Gnocchi! Just think of the possibilities.

Practice safe rolling, have fun and tell me how things turned out.

| February 18th, 2013 | Posted in Collards, meat dishes, Recipes |

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