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Stuffed Collard Leaves with Pomegranate Dipping Sauce

Makes 4 servings


    Stuffed Collard Leaves with Pomegranate Dipping Sauce

    It took me a while to warm up to collard greens. The recipe that turned me around was surprisingly simple: using raw or gently steamed collard leaves as an easy, nutritious wrap. In this version, collard leaves are stuffed with freekeh, lentils, currants and toasted pine nuts. The filling is spiked with za’atar, a vibrant Mediterranean spice blend of oregano, cumin, sumac and sesame. I like to serve them with a creamy pomegranate dressing. Note that the recipe calls for 10 collard leaves; you’ll only use eight of them, but it’s a good idea to prepare a couple of extra ones in case any split or fall apart during cooking or rolling.


    Stuffed Collard Leaves with Pomegranate Dipping Sauce


    Filling and collard leaves
    • 1 cup freekeh, rinsed
    • 2/3 cup dried brown or green lentils, or 1 - 15 oz can lentils, drained and rinsed
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 small red onion, diced
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 Tbsp za’atar spice, or 1 tsp each dried thyme and dried oregano
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 to 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
    • 10 medium collard leaves, tough ribs shaved down with paring knife
    Dipping sauce
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 3 Tbsp tahini
    • 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
    • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
    • 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper


    Per serving:

    • calories419
    • protein19g
    • fat16g
    • carbs58g
      • sugar8g
      • fiber14g
    • sodium618mg



    Make the filling: Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil, then stir in freekeh. Lower heat and cover. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.

    If using dried lentils, put lentils in pot and add water to cover by 3 to 4 inches. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool running water.

    Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender and translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in freekeh and lentils, then stir in za’atar, cumin, coriander, salt, smoked paprika, pepper, lemon juice to taste and pine nuts. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring gently, until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

    Cook and fill the collard leaves: Bring large pot of salted water to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Add collard leaves and cook for about 2 minutes, until bright green and tender. Drain leaves and pat dry with paper towels or clean kitchen towel. Lay a leaf on work surface and pile about 1/3 cup freekeh and lentil mixture along stem of leaf. Fold top and bottom of leaf over filling, then fold one side over filling. Roll leaf up from folded side toward unfolded side to make neat parcel. Repeat with remaining collard leaves and filling.

    Make the dipping sauce: Blend or whisk together all dipping sauce ingredients until smooth.

    Serve stuffed collard leaves with dipping sauce alongside.


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