Makes 4 servings
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.
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.
This recipe is part of the Full of power collection.
This stuffed eggplant is built upon layers of Middle Eastern flavours: smoky freekeh, tender chickpeas, and a herbal tahini sauce. The quick-pickled raisins add a sweet vinegary pop. Sweat it out Salting eggplant before cooking enhances the flavour by allowing eggplant to sweat out its bitterness and breaking its spongy texture.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.