Happy Spring everyone! Even though it doesn't feel like it, spring is officially here. This makes me very happy, and I can put up with the cold much easier when I know it won't last much longer. Since it did turn cold here again, I wanted something warm and filling. Stuffed cabbage sounded good, but loose collard leaves are so much easier to work with. So I stuffed those instead.
Collards are part of the brassica family, nutritional superstars and tasty to boot. Because the leaves are all different sizes, the filling and leaves do not always match up, and you may be left with a little of one or the other.
Stuffed Collard Greens
1 c. brown rice
2 1/2 c. vegetable broth
2 carrots, finely diced
6 stalks celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 bunches collard greens, washed, stems cut off
3 c. tomato sauce (homemade or your favorite)
Combine brown rice, broth, carrot, celery, garlic, onion, oregano, basil, salt and pepper in rice cooker and cook according to your cooker's directions, or in stovetop pan and simmer covered, 40-45 min. till tender and all liquid is absorbed.
While rice is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil, add collard greens and boil 4-5 min. till just tender- don't overcook. You want the leaves to bend easily for rolling, but not to tear easily or get mushy. You may have to do this in 2 batches. Remove, place in colander, and run under cold water to stop cooking.
When rice is ready, preheat oven to 350. Pour 1/2 c. of tomato sauce in bottom of roaster pan. Place a small mound of rice in center of each leaf, fold in sides and roll up. Place seam side down in roaster pan. Pour remaining tomato sauce over rolls, cover, and bake 30-40 min.
This dish is easily adapted to using leftovers- brown rice, quinoa, or barley, and any veggies you have hanging around in your fridge can be put to use for a very quick meal.